BFD provides a simple set of hash table functions. Routines are provided to initialize a hash table, to free a hash table, to look up a string in a hash table and optionally create an entry for it, and to traverse a hash table. There is currently no routine to delete an string from a hash table.
The basic hash table does not permit any data to be stored with a string. However, a hash table is designed to present a base class from which other types of hash tables may be derived. These derived types may store additional information with the string. Hash tables were implemented in this way, rather than simply providing a data pointer in a hash table entry, because they were designed for use by the linker back ends. The linker may create thousands of hash table entries, and the overhead of allocating private data and storing and following pointers becomes noticeable.
The basic hash table code is in