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Refactoring to patterns. Yet another TDD example coded in Delphi

, 19 Dec 2012
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Long overdue here is my second article about Test Driven Development (TDD) in Delphi. This is a continuation of TDD in Delphi: The Basics, another post that I wrote a few months earlier. I would like to focus in a particular step within the TDD cycle: refactoring the code. Refactoring means optimizi

Long overdue here is my second article about Test Driven Development (TDD) in Delphi. This is a continuation of TDD in Delphi: The Basics, another post that I wrote a few months earlier.

I would like to focus in a particular step within the TDD cycle: refactoring the code. Refactoring means optimizing, cleaning, shortening, beautifying, styling (put your own word here) the code without breaking the functionality; that is, without breaking your unit tests.

By having unit tests in place before refactoring, you guarantee that the changes to the code are safe. Refactoring can introduce bugs. To avoid those bugs you need your unit tests in place.

Refactoring can introduce something else: refactoring can introduce design patterns into your code. That means you don’t have to introduce the design patterns up-front, since your code can evolve from a "very rustic implementation" to a "pattern oriented implementation". This is referred as "refactoring to patterns". If you are interested on the topic, I advise you to read Refactoring To Patterns by Joshua Kerievsky.

I’ll take the chess game as the base to my example. For simplicity, I’ll just refer to a couple of pieces: the knight and the bishop. In this example, I will just focus in refactoring some code with unit tests already in place. A detailed walk-through for the TDD cycle can be found in my previous article, which is also based on the chess game.

The code is easy enough to be self-explanatory: basically, there is a class hierarchy in which TPiece is the base class from which TKnight and TBishop derive. Take a quick look:

unit ChessGame;

interface

type

 TPiece = class
 private
   FX,
   FY: Byte;
 public
   constructor Create(aX, aY: Integer);
   function IsWithinBoard(aX, aY: Integer): Boolean;
 end;

 TBishop = class (TPiece)
 public
   function CanMoveTo(aX, aY: Byte): Boolean;
   function isValidMove(aX, aY: Byte): Boolean;
 end;

 TKnight = class(TPiece)
  public
    function CanMoveTo(aX, aY: Byte): Boolean;
    function isValidMove(aX, aY: Byte): Boolean;
 end;


implementation

{ TPiece }

constructor TPiece.Create(aX, aY: Integer);
begin
  inherited Create;
  // TODO: check that this assignment is valid.
  // Not now, ok? :-)
  FX:= aX;
  FY:= aY;
end;

function TPiece.IsWithinBoard(aX, aY: Integer): Boolean;
begin
  Result:= (aX > 0) and
           (aX < 9) and
           (aY > 0) and
           (aY < 9);
end;

{ TKnight }

function TKnight.isValidMove(aX, aY: Byte): Boolean;
var
  x_diff,
  y_diff: Integer;
begin
  x_diff:= abs(aX - FX) ;
  y_diff:= abs(aY - FY) ;

  Result:= ((x_diff = 2) and (y_diff = 1))
                         or
           ((y_diff = 2) and (x_diff = 1));
end;

function TKnight.CanMoveTo(aX, aY: Byte): Boolean;
begin
  Result:= IsWithinBoard(aX, aY) and
           IsValidMove(aX, aY);
end;

{ TBishop }

function TBishop.isValidMove(aX, aY: Byte): Boolean;
begin
  Result:= abs(aX - FX) = abs(aY - FY);
end;

function TBishop.CanMoveTo(aX, aY: Byte): Boolean;
begin
  Result:= IsWithinBoard(aX, aY) and
           IsValidMove(aX, aY);
end;

end. /////////////////////////////////////////////

unit TestChessGame;

interface

uses
  TestFramework, ChessGame;

type
  // Test methods for class TPiece
  TestTPiece = class(TTestCase)
  strict private
    FPiece: TPiece;
  public
    procedure SetUp; override;
    procedure TearDown; override;
  published
    procedure TestIsWithinBoard;
  end;

  // Test methods for class TBishop
  TestTBishop = class(TTestCase)
  strict private
    FBishop: TBishop;
  public
    procedure SetUp; override;
    procedure TearDown; override;
  published
    procedure TestCanMoveTo;
    procedure TestisValidMove;
  end;

  // Test methods for class TKnight
  TestTKnight = class(TTestCase)
  strict private
    FKnight: TKnight;
  public
    procedure SetUp; override;
    procedure TearDown; override;
  published
    procedure TestCanMoveTo;
    procedure TestisValidMove;
  end;

implementation

procedure TestTPiece.SetUp;
begin
  FPiece := TPiece.Create(4, 4);
end;

procedure TestTPiece.TearDown;
begin
  FPiece.Free;
  FPiece := nil;
end;

procedure TestTPiece.TestIsWithinBoard;
begin
  //Test trivial (normal) workflow
  Check(FPiece.IsWithinBoard(4, 4));

  //Tests boundaries
  Check(FPiece.IsWithinBoard(1, 1));
  Check(FPiece.IsWithinBoard(1, 8));
  Check(FPiece.IsWithinBoard(8, 1));
  Check(FPiece.IsWithinBoard(8, 8));

  //Test beyond the boundaries
  CheckFalse(FPiece.IsWithinBoard(3, 15));
  CheckFalse(FPiece.IsWithinBoard(3, -15));
  CheckFalse(FPiece.IsWithinBoard(15, 3));
  CheckFalse(FPiece.IsWithinBoard(15, 15));
  CheckFalse(FPiece.IsWithinBoard(15, -15));
  CheckFalse(FPiece.IsWithinBoard(-15, 3));
  CheckFalse(FPiece.IsWithinBoard(-15, 15));
  CheckFalse(FPiece.IsWithinBoard(-15, -15));
end;

procedure TestTBishop.SetUp;
begin
  FBishop := TBishop.Create(4, 4);
end;

procedure TestTBishop.TearDown;
begin
  FBishop.Free;
  FBishop := nil;
end;

procedure TestTBishop.TestCanMoveTo;
begin
  // Hey developer, indulge me here: believe
  // that I fully wrote the code for this
  // test already before writing anything else.
end;

procedure TestTBishop.TestisValidMove;
begin
  // Hey developer, indulge me here: believe
  // that I fully wrote the code for this
  // test already before writing anything else.
end;

procedure TestTKnight.SetUp;
begin
  FKnight := TKnight.Create(4, 4);
end;

procedure TestTKnight.TearDown;
begin
  FKnight.Free;
  FKnight := nil;
end;

procedure TestTKnight.TestCanMoveTo;
begin
  // Hey developer, indulge me here: believe
  // that I fully wrote the code for this
  // test already before writing anything else.
end;

procedure TestTKnight.TestisValidMove;
begin
  // Hey developer, indulge me here: believe
  // that I fully wrote the code for this
  // test already before writing anything else.
end;

initialization
  // Register any test cases with the test runner
  RegisterTest(TestTPiece.Suite);
  RegisterTest(TestTBishop.Suite);
  RegisterTest(TestTKnight.Suite);
end.

Note that the method CanMoveTo is duplicated in both TKnight and TBishop; that’s not nice isn’t it? In order to fix this, we can pull-up the CanMoveTo method to the TPiece base class. Note this now: the CanMoveTo has now become a "template method"; because is a general algorithm applicable to all kind of chess pieces (TKnight ,TBishop, etc) .

This general algorithm has deferred some steps to be implemented in the subclasses; I mean, the isValidMove method is still coded in the subclasses. Isn’t this a beauty? You have now refactored your code and when doing so, you have introduced the Template Method Design Pattern.

What’s even best, (don’t forget this because it is a key part): is that we can guarantee that our fancy refactoring didn’t break our pre-existing functionality. Why? Because we had unit tests in place written a long time ago. Writing unit test from the beginning gives a huge peace of mind to the developer Smile | :) See the new refactored code below:

unit ChessGameRefactored;

interface

type

 TPiece = class
 private
   FX,
   FY: Byte;
 public
   constructor Create(aX, aY: Integer);
   function IsWithinBoard(aX, aY: Integer): Boolean;

   function CanMoveTo(aX, aY: Byte): Boolean;
   function isValidMove(aX, aY: Byte): Boolean; virtual; abstract;
 end;

 TBishop = class (TPiece)
 public
   function isValidMove(aX, aY: Byte): Boolean; override;
 end;

 TKnight = class(TPiece)
  public
    function isValidMove(aX, aY: Byte): Boolean; override;
 end;


implementation

{ TPiece }

constructor TPiece.Create(aX, aY: Integer);
begin
  inherited Create;
  // TODO: check that this assignment is valid.
  // Not now, ok? :-)
  FX:= aX;
  FY:= aY;
end;

function TPiece.IsWithinBoard(aX, aY: Integer): Boolean;
begin
  Result:= (aX > 0) and
           (aX < 9) and
           (aY > 0) and
           (aY < 9);
end;

function TPiece.CanMoveTo(aX, aY: Byte): Boolean;
begin
  Result:= IsWithinBoard(aX, aY) and
           IsValidMove(aX, aY);
end;

{ TKnight }

function TKnight.isValidMove(aX, aY: Byte): Boolean;
var
  x_diff,
  y_diff: Integer;
begin
  x_diff:= abs(aX - FX) ;
  y_diff:= abs(aY - FY) ;

  Result:= ((x_diff = 2) and (y_diff = 1))
                         or
           ((y_diff = 2) and (x_diff = 1));
end;

{ TBishop }

function TBishop.isValidMove(aX, aY: Byte): Boolean;
begin
  Result:= abs(aX - FX) = abs(aY - FY);
end;

end.

Conclusion, in addition to all the cool things of TDD there’s the possibility of refining your design not up-front, but when refactoring your code. Design patterns can be introduced at any time and we know that such introduction, if late, is not going to break our logic, because we have unit tests in place to prevent that from happening. Some related reading below:

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

yanniel
Software Developer Digital Rapids
Canada Canada
My name is Yanniel Alvarez Alfonso. I was born in San Antonio de los Baños, Havana Province, Cuba on October 24th, 1982.
 
I majored in Information Technology Engineering at José Antonio Echeverría Polytechnic Institute (CUJAE) in Havana City, Cuba (July 2006). After that, I got a Masters Degree in Applied Computer Science at the same University (May 2009).
 
I used to work as a professor of Information Technology at CUJAE. Right now, I work as a Software Developer in Toronto, Canada. I moved to Canada under the Skilled Worker Program on February 26th, 2010.
 
This is my personal blog: Yanniel's notes; in which I write about miscellaneous topics.
 
The link at the end of this sentence compiles an index of all the articles I have written so far about Delphi Programming.

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