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

Marc Rochkind rochkind at basepath.com
Fri Dec 11 08:28:12 AEST 2015

After a while, I shortened this in my mind to something like "the UNIX
linker is called ld." No problem with that, but a few times I
absent-mindedly typed "ln" for "linker", which generally produced very
strange results.


On Thu, Dec 10, 2015 at 2:08 PM, Doug McIlroy <doug at cs.dartmouth.edu> wrote:

> 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".
> Doug
> > 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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