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Encyclopedia > Object file
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In computer science, object file or object code is an intermediate representation of code generated by a compiler after it processes a source code file. Object files contain compact, pre-parsed code, often called binaries, that can be linked with other object files to generate a final executable or code library. An object file is mostly machine code (code directly executed by a computer's CPU). An object file format is a computer file format used for the storage of object code and related data typically produced by a compiler or Assembler. Wikibooks Wikiversity has more about this subject: School of Computer Science Open Directory Project: Computer Science Downloadable Science and Computer Science books Collection of Computer Science Bibliographies Belief that title science in computer science is inappropriate Categories: Computer science ... Jump to: navigation, search A diagram of the operation of a typical multi-language compiler. ... Source code (commonly just source or code) is any series of statements written in some human-readable computer programming language. ... In computer science, a linker or link editor is a program that takes one or more objects generated by compilers and assembles them into a single executable program. ... In computer science, a library is a collection of subprograms used to develop software. ... A system of codes directly understandable by a computers CPU is termed this CPUs native or machine language. ... Jump to: navigation, search This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Jump to: navigation, search A computer is a device or machine for processing information from data according to a program — a compiled list of instructions. ... A file format is a particular way to encode information for storage in a computer file. ... In computer science, object file or object code is an intermediate representation of code generated by a compiler after it processes a source code file. ... Jump to: navigation, search A diagram of the operation of a typical multi-language compiler. ... An assembler is a computer program for translating assembly language — essentially, a mnemonic representation of machine language — into object code. ...


An object file contains not only the object code, but also relocation information that the linker uses to assemble multiple object files into an executable or library, program symbols (names of variables and functions), and debugging information. Relocation is the process of replacing references to symbols with actual addresses during fragment preparation and it is typically done by the linker. ... In computer science, a linker or link editor is a program that takes one or more objects generated by compilers and assembles them into a single executable program. ... Jump to: navigation, search Modern-style library In its traditional sense, a library is a collection of books and periodicals. ... Debugging is a methodical process of finding and reducing the number of bugs, or defects, in a computer program or a piece of electronic hardware thus making it behave as expected. ...


There are many different object file formats; originally each type of computer had its own unique format, but with the advent of Unix and other portable operating systems, some formats, such as COFF and ELF, have been defined and used on different kinds of systems. It is common for the same file format to be used both as linker input and output, and thus as the library and executable file format. Jump to: navigation, search It has been suggested that List of Unixes be merged into this article or section. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Common Object File Format (COFF) is an object file format that was introduced in Unix System V Release 3, and was later adopted by Microsoft for Windows NT. It was superseded by the more powerful ELF in System V Release 4, but as of 2005... In computing, the Executable and Linkable Format (ELF) is a common standard for executables and object code. ...


The design and/or choice of an object file format is a key part of overall system design; it affects the performance of the linker and thus programmer turnaround while developing, and if the format is used for executables, the design also affects the time programs take to begin running, and thus the responsiveness for users. Most object file formats are structured as blocks of data all of the same sort; these blocks can be paged in as needed by the virtual memory system, needing no further processing to be ready to use. In computer science, a linker or link editor is a program that takes one or more objects generated by compilers and assembles them into a single executable program. ... A programmer or software developer is someone who programs computers, i. ... Jump to: navigation, search Virtual memory is intended to help the programmer by taking care of some memory housekeeping duties. ...


The simplest object file format is the DOS COM format, which is simply a file of raw bytes that is always loaded at a fixed location. Other formats are an elaborate array of structures and substructures whose specification runs to many pages. The acronym DOS stands for disk operating system, an operating system component for computers that provides the abstraction of a file system resident on hard disk or floppy disk secondary storage. ... In MS-DOS and compatible DOSes, and in 8-bit CP/M, a COM file is a simple type of executable file with the file name extension (not to be confused with the . ...


Debugging information may either be an integral part of the object file format, as in COFF, or a semi-independent format which may be used with several object formats, such as stabs or DWARF. See debugging format. A dwarf is a short humanoid creature in Norse mythology, fairy tales, fantasy fiction and role-playing games. ...


The GNU project's BFD library provides a common API for the manipulation of object files in a variety of formats. Jump to: navigation, search The GNU logo, drawn by Etienne Suvasa The GNU project was announced in September 1983 by Richard Stallman with the goal of creating a complete, free software operating system. ... The Binary File Descriptor library, most commonly seen as just BFD, is the GNU projects main mechanism for the portable manipulation of object files in a variety of formats. ... API redirects here. ...


Types of data supported by typical object file formats:

Block Started by Symbol (BSS) was a pseudo-op in UA-SAP (United Aircraft Symbolic Assembly Program), the assembler developed in the mid-1950s for the IBM 704 by Roy Nutt, Walter Ramshaw, and others at United Aircraft Corporation. ... A text segment is the code (computer programming) in an object file. ... Data is one of the sections of a program in an object file or in memory, which contains the global variables that are initialized by the programmer. ...

Formats

Notable object file formats:

  • Embedded
    • IEEE-695
    • S-records
  • Macintosh
    • PEF/CFM
    • Mach-O (NeXT, Mac OS X)
  • Unix
    • a.out (Unix/Linux)
    • COFF (Unix/Linux)
      • ECOFF (Mips)
      • XCOFF (AIX)
    • ELF (Unix/Linux)
    • Mach-O (NeXT, Mac OS X)
  • Others

In MS-DOS and compatible DOSes, and in 8-bit CP/M, a COM file is a simple type of executable file with the file name extension (not to be confused with the . ... EXE is the common filename extension for denoting an executable file (a program) in the MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows operating systems. ... The Preferred Executable Format is a file format that specifies the format of executable files and other object code. ... Mach-O, short for Mach object file format, is a file format for executables and object code. ... a. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Common Object File Format (COFF) is an object file format that was introduced in Unix System V Release 3, and was later adopted by Microsoft for Windows NT. It was superseded by the more powerful ELF in System V Release 4, but as of 2005... XCOFF, for eXtended COFF, is an improved and expanded version of the COFF object file format defined by IBM and used in AIX. Early versions of the PowerPC Macintosh also supported XCOFF, as did BeOS. XCOFF additions include the use of csects to provide subsection granularity of cross-references, and... In computing, the Executable and Linkable Format (ELF) is a common standard for executables and object code. ... Mach-O, short for Mach object file format, is a file format for executables and object code. ... The Portable Executable (PE) format is an executable file format used in 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows operating systems. ... NLM may stand for: NASA Launch Manager National Library of Medicine (US) National Literacy Mission (India) NetWare Loadable Module Network Lock Manager New Life Ministries Nokia LogoManager Non-lethal munitions Norsk Landbruksmuseum This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same... OMF may refer to: Object Module Format of the ICL VME operating system OMFI: Open Media Framework Interchange This is a disambiguation page, a list of pages that otherwise might share the same title. ... SOM may be an acronym with any of the following meanings: Look up som on Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Xbox is Microsofts first game console, released on November 15, 2001. ...

Reference

  • John R. Levine, Linkers and Loaders (Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2000)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Object file - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (411 words)
An object file format is a computer file format used for the storage of object code and related data typically produced by a compiler or assembler.
The design and/or choice of an object file format is a key part of overall system design; it affects the performance of the linker and thus programmer turnaround while developing, and if the format is used for executables, the design also affects the time programs take to begin running, and thus the responsiveness for users.
Most object file formats are structured as blocks of data all of the same sort; these blocks can be paged in as needed by the virtual memory system, needing no further processing to be ready to use.
Dr. Dobb's | Object File Formats | July 22, 2001 (3389 words)
Object files provide a concise and efficient representation for a compiled application, furnishing all the information needed to represent the state of the entire application at a point in time.
Object files provide a concise and efficient representation of a compiled application, and they encompass all the information needed to represent the state of the application at a point in time.
Note that in the COFF file we have just disassembled, although the format of the data in the object file is the same, the data may be represented differently.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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