Data Clump

5 January 2006

Whenever two or three values are gathered together - turn them into a $%#$%^ object.

-- Me (it was funnier with the voices)

This is one of my favorite CodeSmells from the refactoring book. You spot it when you constantly see the same few data items passed around together. start and end are a good example of a data clump wanting to be a range. Often data clumps are primitive values that nobody thinks to turn into an object.

The first step is to replace data clumps with objects and use the objects whenever you see them. An immediate benefit is that you'll shrink some parameter lists. The interesting stuff happens as you begin to look for behavior to move into the new objects.