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An example of using @dynamic properties in Objective-C
#import <Foundation/Foundation.h>
@interface Book : NSObject
NSMutableDictionary *data;
@property (retain) NSString *title;
@property (retain) NSString *author;
@implementation Book
@dynamic title, author;
- (id)init
if ((self = [super init])) {
data = [[NSMutableDictionary alloc] init];
[data setObject:@"Tom Sawyer" forKey:@"title"];
[data setObject:@"Mark Twain" forKey:@"author"];
return self;
- (void)dealloc
[data release];
[super dealloc];
- (NSMethodSignature *)methodSignatureForSelector:(SEL)selector
NSString *sel = NSStringFromSelector(selector);
if ([sel rangeOfString:@"set"].location == 0) {
return [NSMethodSignature signatureWithObjCTypes:"v@:@"];
} else {
return [NSMethodSignature signatureWithObjCTypes:"@@:"];
- (void)forwardInvocation:(NSInvocation *)invocation
NSString *key = NSStringFromSelector([invocation selector]);
if ([key rangeOfString:@"set"].location == 0) {
key = [[key substringWithRange:NSMakeRange(3, [key length]-4)] lowercaseString];
NSString *obj;
[invocation getArgument:&obj atIndex:2];
[data setObject:obj forKey:key];
} else {
NSString *obj = [data objectForKey:key];
[invocation setReturnValue:&obj];
int main(int argc, char **argv)
NSAutoreleasePool *pool = [[NSAutoreleasePool alloc] init];
Book *book = [[Book alloc] init];
printf("%s is written by %s\n", [book.title UTF8String], [ UTF8String]);
book.title = @"1984"; = @"George Orwell";
printf("%s is written by %s\n", [book.title UTF8String], [ UTF8String]);
[book release];
[pool release];
return 0;

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commented Dec 3, 2013

Good gist.

Its DNA has been used to provide dynamic cached property support in a Dubrovnik, an Obj-C -> Mono (.NET) bridge and code generator.

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