Instant Inflector

In addition to the singularization and pluralization provided by InflectorKit, Instant Cocoa also provides a class for quickly manipulating strings for use by the runtime.

The Inflector

Instant Cocoa’s powerful introspection and reflection capabilities are reliant on the ability to generate strings of specific formats easily. The ICInflector class provides that capability.


Classes in Objective-C are usually prefixed with a 2 or 3 letter code representing the author of the class. ICInflector includes the capability of automatically stripping these class prefixes so that meaningful information can be extracted from the class name.

Instant Cocoa automatically includes the prefixes IC and NS. You can add your own prefixes to the sharedInflector:

[[ICInflector sharedInflector] addPrefixes:[NSSet setWithObject:@"SK"]];

Property name transformation

An @property in Objective-C is usually llamaCased, meaning that the first letter of the first word is lowercased, and the first letter of every other word is capitalized. When retrieving from JSON, key names are usually snake_cased, meaning that they are lowercase, and joined by underscores.

For display and in other cases, these names have to be transformed to different types. These types include:

  • CamelCase: The first word of each component is capitalized.
  • llamaCase: The first word is lowercase, but each other component is capitalized
  • snake_case: All words are lowercased, and joined by underscores
  • train-case: All words are lowercased, and joined by hyphens

Abbreviations, such a “URL” in aURLProperty, are automatically intuited. aURLProperty would be transformed to, in snake_case, a_url_property. In a near-future version of Instant Cocoa, you will be required to register such abbreviations explicitly, and common abbreviations, like “URL”, will be pre-registered.

You can take advantage of these transformations by calling the appropriate method on ICInflector:

[ICInflector sharedInflector] camelCasedString:myString];

A category is also provided, for convenience:

[myString camelCasedString];


Pluralization and singularization is powered by InflectorKit. It can be invoked as a category on NSString:

[myString singularizedString];
[myString pluralizedString];

See the documentation for that library for adding custom pluralizations.

Selector Generation

One common use of the inflector is to generate selectors from strings. ICInflector provides a method to do that.

- (SEL)selectorWithPrefix:(NSString*)prefix propertyName:(NSString*)propertyName suffix:(NSString*)suffix;

To generate a setter from a property name, for example, you could call

[[ICInflector sharedInflector] selectorWithPrefix:@"set" propertyName:propertyName suffix:@“:”];

ICInflector will automatically handle all of the casing requirements for generating such selectors.