Get values from parameters in an NSURL string

I just came across a post that I made a while ago on StackOverflow, regarding a good way to extract the values of parameters from an URL. I completely forgot I have replied to that matter or that I have written code to solve this problem.

I created a class that provides that functionality using the really useful NSScanner.


@interface URLParser : NSObject {
    NSArray *variables;
@property (nonatomic, retain) NSArray *variables;
- (id)initWithURLString:(NSString *)url;
- (NSString *)valueForVariable:(NSString *)varName;


@implementation URLParser
@synthesize variables;
- (id) initWithURLString:(NSString *)url{
    self = [super init];
    if (self != nil) {
        NSString *string = url;
        NSScanner *scanner = [NSScanner scannerWithString:string];
        [scanner setCharactersToBeSkipped:[NSCharacterSet characterSetWithCharactersInString:@"&?"]];
        NSString *tempString;
        NSMutableArray *vars = [NSMutableArray new];
        [scanner scanUpToString:@"?" intoString:nil];       //ignore the beginning of the string and skip to the vars
        while ([scanner scanUpToString:@"&" intoString:&tempString]) {
            [vars addObject:[tempString copy]];
        self.variables = vars;
        [vars release];
    return self;
- (NSString *)valueForVariable:(NSString *)varName {
    for (NSString *var in self.variables) {
        if ([var length] > [varName length]+1 && [[var substringWithRange:NSMakeRange(0, [varName length]+1)] isEqualToString:[varName stringByAppendingString:@"="]]) {
            NSString *varValue = [var substringFromIndex:[varName length]+1];
            return varValue;
    return nil;
- (void) dealloc{
    self.variables = nil;
    [super dealloc];

Usage is as simple as:

URLParser *parser = [[[URLParser alloc] initWithURLString:@""] autorelease];
NSString *y = [parser valueForVariable:@"y"];
NSLog(@"%@", y); //b
NSString *a = [parser valueForVariable:@"a"];
NSLog(@"%@", a); //(null)
NSString *flash = [parser valueForVariable:@"flash"];
NSLog(@"%@", flash); //yes

Get the source code here: iOS Components on GitHub.