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Proposed linker feature

I do a lot of performance benchmarking on HPC workloads under linux, in C or Fortran. I often want to produce a small piece of code from a larger one, either to use it for testing or performance benchmarking, or to isolate a compiler issue. It would be extremely useful to be able to produce a binary executable even if some or all the symbolic references were not resolved. That is, it would be helpful if, instead of issuing a linker error message and terminating when it can't find every last symbol referenced in an input elf, the linker would produce an output elf that would crash (or call a graceful exit) if the unresolved reference showed up in the execution path. Presumably, this would only happen if a particular linker switch were present.

It seems like this should be fairly easy to do, and the real question is how best to work within the overall standards of the existing code.

I gather that the source is available, and I suppose I may as well just dive in. I thought I would drop a line to this list to see whether
a) someone has already done this, or
b) there is an obvious reason I am overlooking why this won't work, or
c) someone has some advice about where I should start, or how I should go about it, or
d) ????

I am new at this free software concept, so let me know if I am going about this wrong.

  Jerome Berryhill

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