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9.2 Dlpreopening

Libtool provides special support for dlopening libtool object and libtool library files, so that their symbols can be resolved even on platforms without any dlopen and dlsym functions.

Consider the following alternative ways of loading code into your program, in order of increasing "laziness":

  1. Linking against object files that become part of the program executable, whether or not they are referenced. If an object file cannot be found, then the linker refuses to create the executable.

  2. Declaring a static library to the linker, so that it is searched at link time in order to satisfy any undefined references in the above object files. If the static library cannot be found, then the linker refuses to link the executable.

  3. Declaring a shared library to the runtime linker, so that it is searched at runtime in order to satisfy any undefined references in the above files. If the shared library cannot be found, then the dynamic linker aborts the program before it runs.

  4. Dlopening a module, so that the application can resolve its own, dynamically-computed references. If there is an error opening the module, or the module is not found, then the application can recover without crashing.

Libtool emulates `-dlopen' on static platforms by linking objects into the program at compile time, and creating data structures that represent the program's symbol table.

In order to use this feature, you must declare the objects you want your application to dlopen by using the `-dlopen' or `-dlpreopen' flags when you link your program (see section 4.2 Link mode).

Structure: struct lt_dlsymlist { const char *name; lt_ptr address; }
The name attribute is a null-terminated character string of the symbol name, such as "fprintf". The address attribute is a generic pointer to the appropriate object, such as &fprintf.

Variable: const lt_dlsymlist * lt_preloaded_symbols
An array of lt_symbol structures, representing all the preloaded symbols linked into the program. For each `-dlpreloaded' file there is an element with the name of the file and a address of 0, followed by all symbols exported from this file. For the executable itself the special name @PROGRAM@ is used. The last element has a name and address of 0.

Some compilers may allow identifiers which are not valid in ANSI C, such as dollar signs. Libtool only recognizes valid ANSI C symbols (an initial ASCII letter or underscore, followed by zero or more ASCII letters, digits, and underscores), so non-ANSI symbols will not appear in lt_preloaded_symbols.

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