CS374: Programming Language Principles - Static and Dynamic Linked Libraries

Activity Goals

The goals of this activity are:
  1. To describe the linker process
  2. To differentiate between static and dynamic libraries, particularly with respect to their advantages and disadvantages

The Activity


Consider the activity models and answer the questions provided. First reflect on these questions on your own briefly, before discussing and comparing your thoughts with your group. Appoint one member of your group to discuss your findings with the class, and the rest of the group should help that member prepare their response. Answer each question individually from the activity, and compare with your group to prepare for our whole-class discussion. After class, think about the questions in the reflective prompt and respond to those individually in your notebook. Report out on areas of disagreement or items for which you and your group identified alternative approaches. Write down and report out questions you encountered along the way for group discussion.

Model 1: Libraries

A flowchart indicating the linking process of several code modules with static libraries into a unified executable file, which may then load dynamic symbols via shared libraries at runtime.


  1. Where is the code for each static library stored for execution? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this choice?
  2. Where is the code for each dynamic linked library stored for execution? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this choice?


I encourage you to submit your answers to the questions (and ask your own questions!) using the Class Activity Questions discussion board. You may also respond to questions or comments made by others, or ask follow-up questions there. Answer any reflective prompt questions in the Reflective Journal section of your OneNote Classroom personal section. You can find the link to the class notebook on the syllabus.