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The more things change...

...the more they stay the same.

_Please, Sir, May I Have a Linker_ reminds me of another story that involves Microsoft and linkers.

In 1989, I was working for a small company writing an application in Microsoft C which called up an electronic whatsis we had out in the field, downloaded a bunch of data and stored it locally for reporting purposes.

One afternoon we started running into a problem where the program would crash or exhibit strange behavior.  For the next two days, we rand down every angle we could but to no avail.  We had some smart people on the project, and all of us were stumped.

On day three, we received a package from an outfit called Pocket Soft.  Several weeks prior, we'd seen literature on .RTLink/Plus, their replacement for the linker that came with MS C and decided to try it out.  Completely stymied by our crashing problem, we decided to divert for a few hours and give the new linker a spin.  After a quick read of the documentation and some editing of our Makefiles, we had the linker in place and gave it a run.  The instant the link phase started, we got a stern warning that one segment overlapped with the stack.  Son of a gun.    One minor adjustment to the linker parameters and a relink later, we had a binary that ran flawlessly.

I called Microsoft (they weren't asking for credit cards for support in those days), tried hard to convince them that blindly constructing overlapping segments was a problem and didn't get very far.  Pocket Soft, on the other hand, got a very nice letter recouting the story, part of which ended up in the .RTLink/Plus brochure.

I guess Microsoft decided the best way to solve their lousy linker problem was to eliminate it.  Great move, guys!

Mark Feit
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Wow, RTLink Plus!  We used that back in the old DOS days when our program got too big to fit into the 640K memory space.  It allowed us to break up our app into overlays.  Took a bit of rework, not too much, and it did the job nicely.

GML
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Mhh. I have the fondest memories from the Watcom family of tools.

Leonardo Herrera
Thursday, January 29, 2004

http://www.openwatcom.com

mb
Thursday, January 29, 2004

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