It's the cross-platform perspective that distinguishes this book. The author's wide-ranging perspective on IBM 370 mainframes, RISC platforms like the SUN SPARC and, of course, Microsoft Windows makes this book a commendable reference on the internals of linkers and program execution in each environment. There's also a digestible guide to the computer architecture (including registers, instruction formats, and memory addressing) for each platform. (Unix programmers will be pleased that the book has more information on non-Windows platforms than on Windows itself.) For C++ programmers, this text gives you a glimpse into the internals of such language features as macros, templates, and name mangling, and how linkers deal with them at build time.
The book closes with useful material on static libraries and dynamic linking, plus a short tour of Java and its class loader (which can resolve classes on the fly as they are downloaded over the Internet). Short exercises are provided for each chapter, making this a useful resource for both classroom and self-study on what is an often overlooked topic. --Richard Dragan
Topics covered: History of linkers and loaders, application binary interfaces (ABIs), computer architecture basics, big- and little-endian memory addresses, register and instruction formats for IBM 370, SPARC and Intel x86, paging and virtual memory, position independent code (PIC), Intel x86 segmentation, embedded architectures, object files for DOS COM and EXE files, Unix a.out, Unix ELF, IBM 360 object format, Microsoft Portable Executable (PE) format, Intel Object Module Format (OMF), storage allocation, linking details for C++, symbol management, name mangling, weak and strong references, debugging information, library formats, COFF and ELF formats, relocation, loading and overlays, bootstrap loading, shared libraries, dynamic linking for Unix ELF and Microsoft Windows DLLs, advanced linking techniques for C++, and linking in Java.
It's rare to find a book on such an obscure subject, much less such a well-written inclusive one.
Finally, a serious complaint: the book and its cover both trumpet a "linker construction project in Perl" that you can download from the author's website.
The book does a great job describing exactly what it is that linkers/loaders need to do and how they do it.
I've yet to come across someone who wrote software who didn't learn most of this material the hard way; most software-related education neglects that real projects need to be built... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Anonymous Customer
It's true that this book is a few years old. But, I emailed the author and he said not much as changed so it's safe to read the book and know you are still learning good stuff. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Student_of_Life
gives a very good understanding to the novice programmer of how loaders work and how they are associated with linkersPublished 17 months ago by A. Tavoularis
I like the book as there doesn't seem to be a plethora of information on the subject... However, the learning projects are kind of weak. Read morePublished 24 months ago by R. Tkatch
the verbose, tedious, and non-self-contained litany of the nuances among every hardware architecture, every operation system, and every object file format on every linker concept... Read morePublished on January 12, 2011 by X. Lu
It's rare to find a book on such an obscure subject, much less such a well-written inclusive one. It is succinct, so don't feel daunted that you'll have to wade through hundreds... Read morePublished on December 31, 2009 by Ryan Joseph
I haven't found any better explanations of how linkers and loaders work. The book does a great job describing exactly what it is that linkers/loaders need to do and how they do... Read morePublished on November 18, 2009 by J. A. Sandoval
Overall this book provides decent coverage on linker technology, covering several popular object formats. Read morePublished on November 25, 2007 by Clark
As far as I'm aware, this is the only book on the market that covers this subject. Clearly this book will be of use to someone that is starting on writing a link editor (or any... Read morePublished on September 2, 2007 by Paul Floyd