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Manifestations of Dynamic Linking

Sophia Drossopoulou, Susan Eisenbach

Conference or Workshop Paper
June, 2002

Through dynamic linking, Java supports a novel paradigm for code deployment, which ensures fast program start-up and linking with the most recent version of code. Thus Java dynamic linking, gives support for software evolution, by supporting a piece of code A which uses a piece of code B, to link at run-time with a version of code B which was created after A was created.

Dynamic linking involves loading, verification, resolution and preparation of code. Programmers are normally not aware of the dynamic linking process. Nevertheless, in some situations, dynamic linking does manifest itself, and affects program execution and the integrity of the virtual machine. Therefore, there is a need for a description of dynamic linking at the level of the Java source language.

We provide such a description, and demonstrate the process in terms of a sequence of source language examples, in which the effects if dynamic linking are explicit.

Compilation and Dynamic Linking
Distributed Software Engineering
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