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Linkers and Loaders
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am 12. Januar 2000
I picked up this book to delve into interesting problems with a loader that I work with and was amazed at the great story told of what happens to your code after it goes through that compiler and becomes an object. It's not done yet, folks.
This book covers a broad range of topics, after first explaining the basics and architecture gotchas, to all the phases from the back end of the compiler to a program running in memory. Three example platforms are used to illustrate this journey: Intel x86 and 32-bit Windows, UltraSPARC and Solaris, and the IBM 360/370. However, it touches upon a great deal other challenges and formats.
Some might consider the symbolic journey from source code to running program to be equivalent to Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" but Levine's book makes it more like a guided tour at a Disney Theme park. There are wonderful examples and code snippets. Clear diagrams and excellent writing.
My only complaint about this book is that the back cover makes a lot of noise about Java, but the material inside is pretty paltry alongside the more developed material on C, FORTRAN, and C++ issues. Java is really not that complicated or important to Linkers and Loaders.
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am 31. Juli 2000
This book will definitely surprise you if, like me, you had the idea that linkers were just simple, dull tools that ran in the background. The author provides a surprisingly thorough, but understandable, overview of all sorts of linker/loader issues: layout in memory, relocatable code, debugging information, etc., but he does it with such a light, readable style that the material itself doesn't seem particularly difficult. My one complaint is that the book has very little code. The perl-based linker project is basically just a short series of "suggested exercises" without much direction. Still, I wouldn't hesistate to recommend this to anyone interested in compilers or operating systems.
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am 14. Juli 2005
Auch wenn ich das Buch noch nicht gelesen habe, bin ich sehr begeistert von diesem Buch. Das Buch ist einmal verständlich geschrieben und behandelt mit den S/370, Sparc und x86 drei reichlich verschiedene Architekturen und bietet so auch einen kleinen Einblick in die Designentscheidungen die bei der Entwicklung der Architekturen getroffen wurden. (Einziger Nachteil ist, dass neuere Entwicklungen sowohl bei s/360/370/390, heute zSeries, und AMD64, auf Grund des Alters des Buches nicht behandelt werden.)
Ich habe mir dieses Buch gekauft um einen genaueren Einblick in die Thematik zu bekommen, da ich bei der Entwicklung immer wieder über Probleme mit Linkern stolpere (vorallem bei DLLs/.SOs), ich hoffe ich werde vom restlichen Buch nicht enttäuscht.

Edit: In der Zwischenzeit hab ich das Buch längst gelesen und der erste Eindruck bleibt bestehen. Empfehlung!
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am 30. Juli 2000
I am very excited when I discovered this book from amazon. This book covered an important practical area of knowledge for software developers which was not mentioned elsewhere. This book is really very helpful to understand ROUGHLY how current linker and loader works if you just have a vague idea of how they works like me.
On the other hand the author try to cover too much so that reader is lost before they really get the hight level picture of exactly how various technique in different chapters play together, though the author's wide knowlegde in this area is amazing.
I found I still need to read the specifications of ELF format and read the book again to gain the high level picture. I believe the book can be more helpful to an average software developer if the author treatment of ELF and PE is in greater detail that it is in the book.
The treatment about C++ is very interesting. If there are second edition, hope to see more about this subject.
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