Allyn Allyn - 3 months ago 8
Objective-C Question

Constants in Objective-C

I'm developing a Cocoa application, and I'm using constant

NSString
s as ways to store key names for my preferences.

I understand this is a good idea, because it allows easy changing of keys if necessary. Plus, it's the whole 'separate your data from your logic' notion.

Anyway, is there a good way to make these constants defined once for the whole application? I'm sure that there's an easy and intelligent way, but right now my classes just redefine the ones they use.

Answer

You should create a header file like

// Constants.h
FOUNDATION_EXPORT NSString *const MyFirstConstant;
FOUNDATION_EXPORT NSString *const MySecondConstant;
//etc.

(you can use extern instead of FOUNDATION_EXPORT if your code will not be used in mixed C/C++ environments or on other platforms)

You can include this file in each file that uses the constants or in the pre-compiled header for the project.

You define these constants in a .m file like

// Constants.m
NSString *const MyFirstConstant = @"FirstConstant";
NSString *const MySecondConstant = @"SecondConstant";

Constants.m should be added to your application/framework's target so that it is linked in to the final product.

The advantage of using string constants instead of #define'd constants is that you can test for equality using pointer comparison (stringInstance == MyFirstConstant) which is much faster than string comparison ([stringInstance isEqualToString:MyFirstConstant]) (and easier to read, IMO).

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