At the IFS Institute for Software we research "Decremental Development".
Decremental Development means simplifying program code down to 10% of its size with
increased quality and without losing (essential) functionality. Refactoring is one of the
techniques to achieve this goal, and automated unit testing is an enabler for refactoring.
Based on extending JRuby's parser to include comments in the abstract syntax tree (AST)
a source code writer to re-create Ruby source code from the AST provides the basis for
implementing the following refactorings for Eclipse's Ruby Development Tools:
Convert Local Variable to Field
Generate Accessors, Contructor
Inline Class, Method and Local Variable
Merge Class Parts
Move Method and Field
Push Down Method
Rename Class, Method, Module, File, Field and Local Variables