How Not to Refactor a Function That Has Too Many Parameters

Most programmers know that having functions with too many parameters can be confusing. However, fixing such problems requires some intelligence. A programmer once saw some code like this:

SetObjectParams(obj, foo, bar, baz, quux, xyzzy, abra, cadabra, hocus, pocus, presto, shazam);

Finding a stylistic rule somewhere that said a function should have no more than five parameters, the programmer “refactored” it to this:

SetObjectParams1(obj, foo, bar, baz, quux);
SetObjectParams2(obj, xyzzy, abra, cadabra, hocus);
SetObjectParams3(obj, pocus, presto, shazam);

No, that's not how one resolves this problem. You fix this problem by defining functions that each do something simple, give each function a name that describes what it does, and let them take however many parameters make sense.

© 2003-2023 Kristopher Johnson