My Little Object File: How Linkers Implement C++
Ever wonder how the linker turns your compiled C++ code into an executable file? Why the One Definition Rule exists? Or why your debug builds are so large? In this talk we'll take a deep dive and follow the story of our three adventurers, ELF, MachO, and COFF as they make their way out of Objectville carrying C++ translation units on their backs as they venture to become executables. We'll see as they make their way through the tangled forests of name mangling, climb the cliffs of thread local storage, and wade through the bogs of debug info. We'll see how they mostly follow the same path, but each approach the journey in their own way. We'll also see that becoming an executable is not quite the end of their journey, as the dynamic linker awaits to bring them to yet a higher plane of existence as complete C++ programs running on a machine.