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Re: $whole_archive_flag_spec and AIX

From: Robert Boehne
Subject: Re: $whole_archive_flag_spec and AIX
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 10:43:21 -0500

Howard Chu wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: address@hidden [mailto:address@hidden Behalf Of
> > Robert Boehne
> When you use the -bnogc option it will link everything, no analysis is done.
> >
> > Do you hate the AIX linker as much as I do?  ;)
> >
> The AIX linker is a little unusual, but I personally think it was a pretty
> cool solution to a dumb problem. The linker supports incremental linking of
> any supported object file, meaning you can relink executables just by adding
> new .o's to existing executable files. I think .a libraries are pretty
> annoying, and this whole notion of sectioning symbol references by "files"
> is an incredibly antiquated and detrimental paradigm. The IBM notion of
> csects makes so much more sense, separating symbols and objects by
> functional units. On AIX you have the freedom of not having to differentiate
> between static code and dynamic code, it's all the same. You link a bunch of
> .o's into a single .o file and you can use it dynamically or statically at
> your option, and if you link statically the linker automatically finds just
> the csects you need. You spendfar fewer CPU cycles doing link-time or
> run-time relocation because the library's internal references are fully
> resolved. This is cool stuff, this is stuff that advances the state of the
> art. All linkers should be so smart. The ELF object format allows a linker
> to be this smart too, but I haven't seen anybody take advantage of this
> capability. The last time I saw a linker like this was the 68000 SVR4 ABI
> linker I wrote for my Atari ST.
> And before you go off complaining that IBM was stupid to take "Unix" and do
> it differently, note that there still are perfectly legitimate ways to run
> things that are 100% compatible with every other Unix out there. Of course,
> they're rather brain-damaged, but that's what you get for serving the lowest
> common denominator.


I agree with you on the technical merits of AIX, however it takes
time and effort to support AIX because the interface to the linker is
very different from other Unicies.  For that reason I've read the ld man
pages more on AIX than I have all the other four OS's we support.
As far as I can tell, all of the technical advantages of AIX would not
prevent providing an interface that is familiar.  Of course, that is
what Libtool is for. :)

  While I've got you here, what exactly does 'ar' do under AIX?
Seemingly not the same thing as Linux or Solaris, right?


Robert Boehne             Software Engineer
Ricardo Software   Chicago Technical Center
TEL: (630)789-0003 x. 238
FAX: (630)789-0127
email:  address@hidden

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