How important is the refactoring you’re working on? Michael Feathers has a metric you should consider when deciding: plot the complexity against the churn.
Chad Fowler’s turbulence gem does just that.
The “complexity” is some arbitrary number of how tricky the code is to read; this can range from the amount of indentation to the amount of metaprogramming, and everything in between. This is computed using flog.
“Churn” simply refers to how often a file changes; a file that’s changed a bunch has high churn. Highly-churned files should be easy to modify, since people do it a ton. This is computing using git.
Using it is simple: drop this in your
group :development do gem 'turbulence' end
Then run it:
bundle exec bule
Watch out, it’ll open a new tab in the browser for you:
- It’s just a number. It doesn’t replace human thought, passion, and desires.
- Only works on Ruby 1.8!
- Outliers make the plot nearly impossible to read.