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RE: ABI, I don't get it...

On Wed, 24 Aug 2016, Matthew Fortune wrote:

> I have to say that the linker talking about emulations in error messages
> is completely meaningless to many toolchain developers let alone end
> users so those messages are borderline useless.

 Well, to be fair to binutils documentation maintainers I have to observe 
that the term "emulation" is used throughout the LD user manual, so there 
is at least a point of reference, although I do agree the definition 
itself presented there of what a linker emulation is is a bit lacking to 
say the least.

 You and anyone else are of course welcome to contribute documentation 
improvements; perhaps merging this old chapter: 
which has been lost to history for some reason, will be a good way to 

> That's not to say many
> of the other ABI related error messages are much more helpful but some
> hint that it is an 'ABI' issue is a good start as user's do know that
> there are multiple ABIs in general I think.

 You may actually only have support for a single ABI configured and still 
get the error message.  Although to be fair you won't get this message 
unless you mess up GCC driver options (which as a rule of thumb need to be 
the same throughout all the software build stages), invoke one part of the 
toolchain in the build process directly rather than via the GCC driver 
(which is not recommended unless you know what you're doing), or use 
binutils built from incorrectly modified sources.  Some or all of these 
aspects may have already been properly documented, beyond just being 
common GNU toolchain lore.

 In any case, again, both documentation and error reporting improvements 
are always welcome; sometimes being concise and precise both at a time -- 
as required for a good error message -- is quite a challenge.



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