Extensions to runtime reflection in D.

Package Information

Version0.1.9 (2016-Feb-27)
CopyrightCopyright © 2016, Mihail K
Registered byMihail K


To use this package, put the following dependency into your project's dependencies section:



Witchcraft - Runtime Reflection is Magic

Extensions to runtime reflection in D.

Witchcraft provides enhanced runtime reflection facilities for D classes. It provides a means to interact with fields, functions, constructors, classes, and user-defined attributes at runtime (features D is sadly lacking). All of this happens through a simple and familiar API inspired by Java's java.reflect package.

Mix in some Witchcraft

Start with a simple class, mix in some Witchcraft,

import witchcraft;

class User
    mixin Witchcraft;

    string username;
    string password;

    this(string username, string password)
        this.username = username;
        this.password = password;

And now you have some amazing new runtime reflection powers to play with.

void main()
    Class c = User.metaof;
    // ... or new User().getMetaType;

    // Create a new user object,
    User user = cast(User) c.create;

    // Iterate over fields . . .
    foreach(field; c.getFields)
        // Get value on instance 'user'
Aggressive Mode!

Witchcraft also comes with an option to enable 'Aggressive Mode'. Normally, only types that have mixin Witchcraft; can be reflected on, and any types that these may reference (ie. A method return type) must also have Witchcraft in to support reflection.

In Aggressive Mode, Witchcraft will generate meta information for all types that are referenced reflectively (and any types that those types may reference, and so on...). However, for any types that don't mixin Witchcraft, only public members will be accessible. You can test if an element is accessible with the isAccessible property.

Fields, Methods, and Constructors

Witchcraft grants runtime access to all fields, methods, and constructors of any type it is mixed into. Fields and methods alike are easily accessible en-masse (returned as an array), or individually given by name. Methods and constructors are both also accessible based on their overloads.

// Access to fields and methods.
Field[] fields = c.getFields;
Method[] method = c.getMethods;

// Access to a field by name.
Field field = c.getField("username");

// Access all overloads of a method by name.
Method[] overloads = c.getMethods("updatePassword");

// Access the updateEmail(string) method.
Method method = c.getMethod!(string)("updatePassword");

Once you have your fields and methods, you are free to read, write, and call them. They also provide some useful properties like their types, attributes, parameters types, declaring types, etc. This includes useful properties like isStatic, to check if a method is static or bound to and instance of a class.

// Fetch a variant holding the value of
Variant email = c.getField("email").get(user);

// Or... Use a template argument to convert the result.
string email = as c.getField("email").get!(string)(user);

// And now call user.updateEmail(email)
c.getMethod!(string)("updatePassword").invoke(user, email);

// Or... Use a TypeInfo object instead of template argument.
c.getMethod("updatePassword", typeid(string)).invoke(user, email);
Templates not Required

Witchcraft provides templated methods for convenience for every method that might accept or return a Variant, or any method that accepts D's TypeInfo or Witchcraft's Type objects. For example, if you were looking for a constructor that might accept behave like this(string, string),

// You'd have the option using templates,
Constructor ctor = c.getConstructor!(string, string);

// Or you can find it with runtime parameters.
Constructor ctor = c.getConstructor(typeid(string), typeid(string));

Similarly, for returned values, you could do,

// With templates, you can get a User object,
User user = ctor.create!(User)("John Smith", "secret");

// Without templates, Variants go in, Variants come out.
Variant user = ctor.create(Variant("John Smith"), Variant("secret"));


Witchcraft can also do some neat magic with User-Defined Attributes. You can inspect and access UDAs on any field, method, constructor, or type that has reflective capabilities. (That is to say, any type that has mixin Witchcraft;, or, keep reading for 'Aggressive Mode'!) Consider,

struct Column
    string name;

struct User
    mixin Witchcraft;

    string username;

    string password;

Witchcraft breaks up attributes into 2 types; Type attributes and Expression attributes. Expression attributes are any attributes that can produce a value at runtime, whereas Type attributes are attributes that cannot. Essentially,

Struct s = User.metaof;

// @Column on username cannot produce a value; it's a Type attribute.
Attribute uAttr = s.getField("username").getAttributes!(Column)[0];
assert(uAttr.isType == true);

// @Column("pass_word") produces a value at runtime; it's an Expression attribute.
Attribute pAttr = s.getField("password").getAttributes!(Column)[0];
assert(pAttr.isExpression == true);

getAttributes may also be called without a parameter to get all attributes on an element, or it can be given either a D TypeInfo or Witchcraft Type object in place of a template argument.


  • Every class that needs reflective capabilities must mixin Witchcraft. This includes children of classes that already do!
  • Witchcraft reflection completely ignores protection attributes. Private fields and functions are accessible from everywhere through reflection. (although this may be a benefit in some cases!)
  • Aggressive Mode is very aggressive! Compile times can take quite a while since meta information will be constructed for every reachable type through any type that is referenced reflectively. (Fields, return types, parameter types, attributes, etc.)



Available versions

0.1.9 0.1.8 0.1.7 0.1.6 0.1.5 0.1.4 0.1.3 0.1.2 0.1.1 0.1.0 ~master