PLPatchMaster: Swizzling in Style

17 Feb 2014, 14:56 PST


Last year, I wrote a swizzling API for my own use in patching Xcode; I wanted an easy way to define new method patches, and the API wound up being pretty nice:

[UIWindow pl_patchInstanceSelector: @selector(sendEvent:) withReplacementBlock: ^(PLPatchIMP *patch, UIEvent *event) {
    NSObject *obj = PLPatchGetSelf(patch);
    // Ignore 'remote control' events
    if (event.type == UIEventTypeRemoteControl)
    // Forward everything else
    return PLPatchIMPFoward(patch, void (*)(id, SEL, UIEvent *), event);

In light of Mattt Thompson's post on Method Swizzling today, I figured I'd brush it off, port it to armv7/armv7s/arm64, and share it publicly.

PLPatchMaster uses the same block trampoline allocator I originally wrote for PLBlockIMP, along with a set of custom trampolines.

It's similar to imp_implementationWithBlock() in implementation and efficiency; rather than simply re-ordering 'self' and '_cmd', we pass in enough state to allow forwarding the message to the original receiver's implementation.

Use it at your own risk; swizzling in production software is rarely, if ever, a particularly good idea.

Advanced Use

The library can also be used to register patches to be applied to classes that have not yet been loaded:

[[PLPatchMaster master] patchFutureClassWithName: @"ExFATCameraDeviceManager" withReplacementBlock: ^(PLPatchIMP *patch, id *arg) {
    /* Forward the message to the next IMP */
    PLPatchIMPFoward(patch, void (*)(id, SEL, id *));
    /* Log the event */
    NSLog(@"FAT camera device ejected");

PLPatchMaster registers a listener for dyld image events, and will automatically swizzle the target class when its Mach-O image is loaded.

Source Code

The soure code is available via the official repository, or via the GitHub mirror.

Tales From The Crash Mines

06 Feb 2014, 07:26 PST

Over at Mike Ash's blog, he's posted my first issue of "Tales From The Crash Mines". I'll be writing this as an intermittent series on the interesting bugs we've tracked down on iOS and Mac OS X, interpreting crash reports, and software failure analysis and crash reporting in general.

The first issue explores a pretty interesting and educational bug, with a focus on the methodologies we use to derive more data from a fairly tricky crash report, and in the process, reconstruct exactly how an application failed.

Check it out! If you prefer PDFs (or dead tree reading), I've also posted a nicely formatted PDF generated from the original LaTeX sources.