[TUHS] ld (was v6tar from v7 on v6, too large?)

Doug McIlroy doug at cs.dartmouth.edu
Fri Dec 11 07:08:47 AEST 2015

That's exactly right. ld performs the same task as LOAD did on BESYS,
except it builds the result in the file system rather than user
space. Over time it became clear that "linker" would be a better
term, but that didn't warrant canning the old name. Gresham's law
then came into play and saddled us with the ponderous and
misleading term, "link editor".


> My understanding, which predates my contact with Unix, is that the
> original toochains for single-job machines consisted of the assembler
> or compiler, the output of which was loaded directly into core with
> the loader.  As things became more complicated (and slow), it made
> sense to store the memory image somewhere on drum, and then load that
> image directly when you wanted to run it.  And that in some systems
> the name "loader" stuck, even though it no longer loaded.  Something
> like the modern ISP use of the term "modem" to mean "router".  But I
> don't have anything to back up this version; comments welcome.

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