The Refactoring Browser was the first commercial tool for VisualWorks Smalltalk. It set the standard for all modern refactoring tools. It was created by John Brant and Don Roberts and has since become integrated into Cincom Smalltalk's VisualWorks® development environment. An older version of the browser for users of VisualWorks 2.5 without ENVY can be downloaded here. More information on this version are available here. For a version adapted to another Smalltalk vendor, Contact Us.
The Refactoring Browser is a complete re-implementation of the standard system browsers for VisualWorks, VisualWorks/ENVY, and IBM Smalltalk. In addition to the features present in the standard browsers, the Refactoring Browser provides several refactorings that allow programmers to rapidly change their code without affecting its behavior. This allows programmers to rapidly make design changes to existing code without having to worry about introducing errors into the code. In addition to the refactorings, the Refactoring Browser provides several productivity enhancements that programmers have requested to make the browser a better programming tool.
This is absolutely the greatest piece of programming software to come out since the original Smalltalk browser. It completely changes the way you think about programming. All those niggling little "well, I should change this name but..." thoughts go away, because you just change the name because there is always a single menu item to just change the name.When I started using it, I spent about two hours refactoring at my old pace. I would do a refactoring, then just kind of stare off into space for the five minutes it would have taken me to do the refactoring by hand, then do another, stare into space again. After a while, I caught myself and realized that I had to learn to think Bigger Refactoring Thoughts, and think them faster. Now I use probably half and half refactoring and entering new code, all at the same speed (I should instrument to measure this). -- Kent Beck