Is changing the interface of part of the code a refactoring?
2 September 2007
Here's an interesting conundrum posed by Przemyslaw Pokrywka. One of the refactorings in the book is Introduce Null Object - a very useful refactoring (also discussed in Josh's new book.) Przemyslaw's point is that this refactoring can alter behavior. If you have a method return a null, and you invoke a method on that null you'll get a null pointer exception. If you use a Null Object you'll get some default behavior.
3 September 2004
There was some recent discussion on the refactoring mailing list about what is or isn't a refactoring. As with these discussions, there's always a danger of debating how many angels fit on a pin, but thinking about the boundaries does have some useful purpose.