I had to rename a class or two and I'm used to the Eclipse refactoring capabilities which update all references as part of the name change. In Salesforce the rename is not supported in the IDE (v 25), so the way to rename is to do it in SF (web) itself. The problem is that when I rename the class not all references are updated. After I did the rename I compiled, saw errors, fixed and repeated that until no more errors.
Afterwards, I thought a better workaround would be to create the new class in the IDE and copy the contents of the old class into it, fixing up any self references to get it to save w/o errors. Then do a find and replace in files in eclipse to update any *.cls, *.trigger, (and maybe *.page, *.component) files to use the new reference. Then save to the server and delete the old class. Next time, I may try that.
My questions are what is the best approach to refactoring Apex? Are there any tools or best practices to be more efficient and accurate? Thanks.