Oh lord, It's hard to parse build files Aug 27, 2008 • Julian Simpson Nat Pryce left a comment on my post A real BuildRefactoring, in the wild: IntelliJ can do some simple refactorings of Ant scripts: extractproperty, rename target, rename property, etc. But refactoring of Ant and Nant is very difficult because they have noconsistent syntax or semantics. They are just quick hacks that havegrown kludge by kludge into inconsistent pseudo-languages. It seems I did Intellij a disservice when I said that it couldn't do refactorings on build files. I downloaded the latest Mac release and had a try for about 20 minutes before I did the post. Refactoring didn't happen. Maybe I should have spent longer. Sorry, Jetbrains. Thanks, Nat. It does raise the question about our build tools. Maybe they'll never have a decent editor. Nat's multiple kludge theory would explain a lot. There's a lot of editors that attempt to be your friendly build file editor, but not many come close. It's been interesting watching Resharper 4's Nant support evolve; it seems like it's been hard work all the way. For the time being, I'm reverting to the me of 6 years ago: I'm doing all my editing in Vim.