The NodeJS ⇆ Objective-C Bridge



Logic for importing a Framework into the node process.

"Importing" a framework is a multi-step process:

  1. resolve() the absolute path of the given framework name.
  2. Load the framework's binary dylib file into the process.
  3. Usually locate the BridgeSupport files for the framework and process.
  4. Define any new class getters for newly loaded Objective-C classes.


Accepts a single framework name and imports it into the current node process. framework may be a relative (singular) framework name, or a path (relative or absolute) to a Framework directory.

$.NSObject   // undefined


$.NSObject   // [Class: NSObject]
function importFramework (framework, skip) {
  debug('importing framework:', framework, skip)
  framework = exports.resolve(framework)

  var shortName = basename(framework, SUFFIX)

  // Check if the framework has already been loaded
  var fw = cache[shortName]
  if (fw) {
    debug('skipping framework because already loaded:', framework)

  // Load the main framework binary file
  var frameworkPath = join(framework, shortName)
    , lib = core.dlopen(frameworkPath)

  fw = {
      lib: lib
    , name: shortName
    , basePath: framework
    , binaryPath: frameworkPath

  // cache before loading bridgesupport files
  cache[shortName] = fw

  // Parse the BridgeSupport file and inline dylib, for the C functions, enums,
  // and other symbols not introspectable at runtime.

  // Iterate through the loaded classes list and define "setup getters" for them.
  if (!skip) {
    var classes = core.getClassList()
    debug('loading ObjC Classes:', classes.length)
    classes.forEach(function (c) {
      if (c in _global) return
      _global.__defineGetter__(c, function () {
        var clazz = _class.getClass(c)
        delete _global[c]
        return _global[c] = clazz

  debug('finished importing framework:', shortName)


Accepts a single framework name and resolves it into an absolute path to the base directory of the framework.

In most cases, you will not need to use this function in your code.

//  '/System/Library/Frameworks/Foundation.framework'
function resolve (framework) {
  debug('resolving framework name or path:', framework)
  // strip off a trailing slash if present
  if (framework[framework.length-1] == '/') {
    framework = framework.slice(0, framework.length-1)
    debug('stripped trailing slash:', framework)
  // already absolute, return as-is
  if (~framework.indexOf('/')) return framework
  var i = 0
    , l = exports.PATH.length
    , rtn = null
  for (; i<l; i++) {
    rtn = join(exports.PATH[i], framework + SUFFIX)
    if (exists(rtn)) return rtn
  throw new Error('Could not resolve framework: ' + framework)
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