pub fn create_wrapper_file(
) -> (Vec<u8>, MetadataPosition)
For rlibs we “pack” rustc metadata into a dummy object file.
Historically it was needed because rustc linked rlibs as whole-archive in some cases. In that case linkers try to include all files located in an archive, so if metadata is stored in an archive then it needs to be of a form that the linker is able to process. Now it’s not clear whether metadata still needs to be wrapped into an object file or not.
Note, though, that we don’t actually want this metadata to show up in any final output of the compiler. Instead this is purely for rustc’s own metadata tracking purposes.
With the above in mind, each “flavor” of object format gets special handling here depending on the target:
MachO - macos-like targets will insert the metadata into a section that is sort of fake dwarf debug info. Inspecting the source of the macos linker this causes these sections to be skipped automatically because it’s not in an allowlist of otherwise well known dwarf section names to go into the final artifact.
WebAssembly - this uses wasm files themselves as the object file format so an empty file with no linking metadata but a single custom section is created holding our metadata.
COFF - Windows-like targets create an object with a section that has the
IMAGE_SCN_LNK_REMOVEflag set which ensures that if the linker ever sees the section it doesn’t process it and it’s removed.
ELF - All other targets are similar to Windows in that there’s a
SHF_EXCLUDEflag we can set on sections in an object file to get automatically removed from the final output.