fbc stores extra information into the object files (.o) it generates, in order to read it out again at link-time. The information that is stored currently consists of the -lang/-mt settings and all libraries/search paths (-l, #inclib, -p, #libpath) that were specified when compiling that object file. This way fbc can show a warning when mixing object files that were compiled with different options, because they may be incompatible, and fbc can automatically link in libraries that were specified via #inclib, even if the user compiles and links in separate steps.

This is accomplished by emitting an extra section called "fbctinf" (FreeBASIC compile time information?) when compiling, and reading it back in at link-time. Furthermore, when building a static library, fbc creates an extra object file (called __fb_ct.inf) containing just that extra information and adds it to the library. At link-time fbc looks at each library to figure out whether it has such an __fb_ct.inf file or not.

In order to do this fbc has a custom COFF, ELF32 and also archive file format readers that can extract the .fbctinf section content. Previously, fbc used libbfd from binutils to do this, however depending on libbfd is problematic especially because of its highly unstable ABI.

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