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Thinking in C++
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The linker collects object modules (which often use file name extensions like .o or .obj), generated by the compiler, into an executable program the operating system can load and run. It is the last phase of the compilation process.

Linker characteristics vary from system to system. In general, you just tell the linker the names of the object modules and libraries you want linked together, and the name of the executable, and it goes to work. Some systems require you to invoke the linker yourself. With most C++ packages you invoke the linker through the C++ compiler. In many situations, the linker is invoked for you invisibly.

Some older linkers won’t search object files and libraries more than once, and they search through the list you give them from left to right. This means that the order of object files and libraries can be important. If you have a mysterious problem that doesn’t show up until link time, one possibility is the order in which the files are given to the linker.

Thinking in C++
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   Reproduced courtesy of Bruce Eckel, MindView, Inc. Design by Interspire