TOPLAS: Linking Programs Incrementally

John R. Levine <>
Thu, 21 Mar 91 0:06:02 EST

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Related articles
TOPLAS: Linking Programs Incrementally (John R. Levine) (1991-03-15)
Re: TOPLAS: Linking Programs Incrementally (1991-03-23)
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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: John R. Levine <>
Keywords: linker, design, experiment
Organization: Compilers Central
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 91 0:06:02 EST

The January TOPLAS has an interesting article by Russell Quong and Mark Linton
on incremental linking. They noted that in the edit-compile-link-debug
cycle, most of the linked modules don't change from one link to another, so
they made a modified linker that tries to replace modules in place. It leaves
some space (size determined heuristically) after modules that have changed so
that moderate growth doesn't require relinking. They found that by allocating
24% slop space, they could relink in place 97% of the time, and that relinking
in place was much faster, for some medium sized programs it took under two
seconds as opposed to about 30 seconds for a regular ld link.

I see that this work mostly took place in 1986-87. Does anyone know of
anything more recent along these lines?

John Levine,, {spdcc|ima|world}!iecc!johnl


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