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Computers as Components, 3rd Edition by Marilyn Wolf

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5.4 Assembly, Linking, and Loading

Assembly and linking are the last steps in the compilation process—they turn a list of instructions into an image of the program’s bits in memory. Loading actually puts the program in memory so that it can be executed. In this section, we survey the basic techniques required for assembly linking to help us understand the complete compilation and loading process.

Program generation work flow

Figure 5.10 highlights the role of assemblers and linkers in the compilation process. This process is often hidden from us by compilation commands that do everything required to generate an executable program. As the figure shows, most compilers do not directly generate machine code, but instead create the instruction-level ...

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