C# – Static linking advantages


I recently read a question on here about static and dynamic linking, which reminded me of some questions I've had about it. From that post, I can see what the technical difference is (including object file contents directly instead of merely pointing to it), but I'd like to know a bit more about the pros/cons of doing so.

A while ago, a friend of mine who's been programming several years was lamenting that C# isn't statically linked and saying that that was the feature he desired most for a future version. Unfortunately I'm a novice and don't really understand this statement.

Thanks for any enlightenment!

Best Solution

The advantage of static linking is that it removes external dependency on libraries - i.e. the behaviour of the library you're using is never going to change because someone changed the libraryon the disk. That's also one of the disadvantages of static linking; if the OS changes and a new version of the library is needed to work with it properly, you have to provide an upgraded version of your binary. Similarly if a bugfix is added to the library, you don't automatically get that bug fix if you've statically linked.

Most (in fact, probably all these days) operating systems can load one copy of a dynamic library for multiple processes, which is why on UNIX they're called shared objects.

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