Next: , Previous: Differing file formats, Up: Adding Symbols to the Hash Table Adding symbols from an object file

When the _bfd_link_add_symbols routine is passed an object file, it must add all externally visible symbols in that object file to the hash table. The actual work of adding the symbol to the hash table is normally handled by the function _bfd_generic_link_add_one_symbol. The _bfd_link_add_symbols routine is responsible for reading all the symbols from the object file and passing the correct information to _bfd_generic_link_add_one_symbol.

The _bfd_link_add_symbols routine should not use bfd_canonicalize_symtab to read the symbols. The point of providing this routine is to avoid the overhead of converting the symbols into generic asymbol structures.

_bfd_generic_link_add_one_symbol handles the details of combining common symbols, warning about multiple definitions, and so forth. It takes arguments which describe the symbol to add, notably symbol flags, a section, and an offset. The symbol flags include such things as BSF_WEAK or BSF_INDIRECT. The section is a section in the object file, or something like bfd_und_section_ptr for an undefined symbol or bfd_com_section_ptr for a common symbol.

If the _bfd_final_link routine is also going to need to read the symbol information, the _bfd_link_add_symbols routine should save it somewhere attached to the object file BFD. However, the information should only be saved if the keep_memory field of the info argument is TRUE, so that the -no-keep-memory linker switch is effective.

The a.out function which adds symbols from an object file is aout_link_add_object_symbols, and most of the interesting work is in aout_link_add_symbols. The latter saves pointers to the hash tables entries created by _bfd_generic_link_add_one_symbol indexed by symbol number, so that the _bfd_final_link routine does not have to call the hash table lookup routine to locate the entry.