OCLint-Annotations 1.0.0

OCLint-Annotations 1.0.0

LangLanguage Obj-CObjective C
License BSD
ReleasedLast Release Dec 2014

Maintained by Unclaimed.

  • By
  • Longyi Qi and Akiva Leffert


This repository contains a number of conveniences for using OCLint[http://oclint.org] alongside Cocoa and Cocoa Touch.

Several of the checks included with OCLint allow you to annotate your code to achieve additional safety customized to your code base. Essentially, this mechanism allows oclint to add powerful static features to Objective-C, like protected methods and abstract methods that must be overriden by subclasses.

This repo contains some conveniences for utilizing these checks as well as annotations for some of the system frameworks that take advantage of these checks to formalize previously informal documentation.


Adding to your project

There are three steps to adding these checks to your project so oclint can see them:

  1. Check out this repo somewhere in your project directory hierarchy.
  2. Add the OCLint-Annotations.h file to your Xcode project. You should probably #import it in in your project's .pch, precompiled header file, so that it's visible to all your code.
  3. Import other framework specific headers relevant to your project. For example, if you're using UIKit, add iOS/UIKit+OCLintStaticChecks.h wherever you include UIKit. The .pch file is a good place to put it if the system header for that framework is already there. But if you're including a system header only in certain cases, just make sure to include the associated OCLintStaticChecks file in addition to, or instead of, the library's standard header.

Adding to your code

All of these checks work as annotations on method, property, or C function declarations. Furthmore, you can add annotations to already declared methods or properties by redeclaring them in a category with the additional annotation. For C functions, just repeat the declarationw along with the additional attributes. This is how the annotations included for system frameworks work.

These are also documented in OCLint-Annotations.h and you can look at the framework specific headers for examples.

For example, one of the checks allows you to declare that anyone overriding a method must call its super implemenation. This corresponds to the annotation __attribute__((annotate("oclint:enforce[must call super]"))). But that is long, error prone, and hard to remember. Hence, ``OCLint-Annotations.h" contains the following macro:

#define OCLINT_MUST_CALL_SUPER __attribute__((annotate("oclint:enforce[must call super]")))

To use this you just add it to the end of your method declaration.

@interface SomeClass : NSObject

- (void)someMethod OCLINT_MUST_CALL_SUPER;


If you do this and have a subclass that overrides someMethod but does not call [super someMethod], oclint will emit an error. If you deliberately don't want to call it, like in a base class implementation, you can suppress the violation using the standard oclint suppress mechanism. We provide some macros to make this convenient. For example:

@implementation SomeClass

    // don't call super because it's the base class



  • OCLINT_MUST_CALL_SUPER, as previously discussed, allows you to mark a method as requiring a call to its super implementation. Some system framework methods are marked this way, even if the system superclass version is marked explicitly as not doing anything. This is to catch common cases, where subclasses farther down the hierarchy fail to call super. For example, it is a common mistake when dealing with deeper class hierarchies, for subclasses of subclasses of UIViewController to fail to call the super implementation of viewWillAppear: even though the implementation in UIViewController is documented to do nothing and so immediate subclasses don't really need to call super. This is similar to the built-in objc_requires_super attribute, but as usual, can be applied to already declared methods.

  • OCLINT_PROTECTED_METHOD allows you to mark a method as protected. This is a concept from other OO languages (and also shows up as the little used @protected annotation on ivars). A protected method is a method that can only be called by the class itself and subclasses of that class.

  • OCLINT_SUBCLASS_MUST_OVERRIDE allows you to mark a method that any subclass of the marked declaration's class must override. This is useful for implementing abstract classes.

  • OCLINT_PROHIBIT_CALL() allows you to mark a method or C function as prohibited. This is similar to the deprecated attribute used by the system frameworks, but you can use categories or redeclarations to mark system frameworks as prohibited within a library. The argument is a comment indicating what callers should use instead and it will show up in oclint's output.

Direct any questions to the oclint google group or create an issue on github.