A simple tool for iOS programs to decouple view controllers.
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The Introduction to EMControllerManager


It's a common scenario that we want to push a view controller inside another view controller. Assume that we have ViewController1 and ViewController2. Now, we want to push ViewController2 when a button in the ViewController1 is touched. A standard practice would be:


#import "ViewController2.h"
- (void)buttonPushOnTouch:(id)sender {
	ViewController2 *vc2 = [[ViewController2 alloc]init]];
	[self.navigationViewController pushViewController:vc2 animate:YES];

In this situation, ViewController1 should know the existence of ViewController2 before it can alloc one. Therefore, they are tightly coupled and hardly to reuse.

With EMControllerManager, you can write code like:


- (void)buttonPushOnTouch:(id)sender {
	EMControllerManager *cm = [EMControllerManager sharedInstance];
	UIViewController *vc2 = [cm createViewControllerInstanceNamed:@"ViewController2" withPropertyValues:@{@"color":[UIColor redColor],@"number":@(1)}]; // The name follows your config file, not necessarily ViewController2.
	[self.navigationViewController pushViewController:vc2 animate:YES];

In this way, ViewController1 doesn't need to know ViewController2, and you don't need to import ViewController2.h into ViewController1.m


The configuration file can be either a JSON file or a plist file. Take JSON file as an example, a typical configuration code should be like this:

        "Description":"The homepage of the app",
            "dependentString":"@Yes, you can inject a string using the config file",
  • Test1 and Test2 are controller names. You can name that as you wish. And when you are using createViewControllerInstanceNamed:withPropertyValues:, the parameter Named should follow this field.
  • ClassName is the real class name of the view controller. It should match the interface name. If you fill a wrong value to this field, the createViewControllerInstanceNamed:withPropertyValues: is impossible to create an instance (will return nil), and you will receive a warning, though this won't crash your app.
  • Description and Tag are optional, actually they are just comments (JSON doesn't support comments, so I have to use a redundant field).
  • Dependencies are something that can be injected into the new instance. It supports all basic types that are supported both by JSON and Objective C, e.g. string, int, float, bool. Furthermore, you can inject another controller name that are configured in this file. The manager will create an instance of that class and inject it. However, you should pay attention that if you want to inject a string rather than a configured class reference, you need to add an '@' as the prefix, otherwise the string will be recognized as the controller name of another configured class. Also, a recursive dependency is not allowed.

You can use a plist instead, the rules are the same as that for JSON.

Additional configuration

Besides configuration files, you can add configurations dynamically in your code.

Here is an example:

[cm addViewControllerConfigWithBlock:^(NSMutableDictionary *extraNameClassMapping) {
        EMControllerConfigItem *item1 = [[EMControllerConfigItem alloc]init];
        item1.controllerClassName = @"Test3ViewController";
        EMControllerConfigItem *item2 = [[EMControllerConfigItem alloc]init];
        item2.controllerClass = [Test4ViewController class];
        [extraNameClassMapping setObject:item1 forKey:@"Test3"];
        [extraNameClassMapping setObject:item2 forKey:@"Test4"];

You create an EMControllerConfigItem, then add it into the given mutable dictionary. Notice that you should at least assign one of controllerClassName and controllerClass. And if controllerClass is assigned, then controllerClassName will be omited.

Again, you can add dependencies into an item. The rule is the same as above.


A piece of typical code is like

In AppDelegate.m:

EMControllerManager *cm = [EMControllerManager sharedInstance];
NSString *path = [[NSBundle mainBundle]pathForResource:@"ViewControllerConfig" ofType:@"json"];
NSError *e = nil;
[cm loadConfigFileOfPath:path fileType:EMControllerManagerConfigFileTypeJSON error:&e];
if (e) {
    NSLog(@"%@",[e localizedDescription]);

In your view controller:

// Initialize properties using two methods
UIViewController *vc = [cm createViewControllerInstanceNamed:@"Test1" withPropertyValues:@{@"color":[UIColor redColor],@"number":@(1)}];

createViewControllerInstanceNamed:withPropertyValues: will create an instance of a configured class. You can pass a dictionary through PropertyValues. How these values are handled depends on the instance. If it conforms the EMControllerManagerInitProtocol and responds to initializePropertiesWithDictionary:, then this method will be called. Otherwise, the values in the dictionary will be injected into the instance directly by KVC.


I hate configuration files because it won't trigger the autocompelete tool. Appearently, it's a drawback. But we still have some workarounds. The way I deal with the problem is by using a python script to generate a header file, where all controller names are defined in macros, thus we can trigger the autocomplete. There is a python script named EMControllerManagerHeaderGenerator.py in this repository. You can generate the header file by a command like:

python EMControllerManagerHeaderGenerator.py -i your_config_file -o header_file_path -p prefix