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Home » Tip Bank » C++
Language: C++
Expertise: All
Apr 15, 1999

What's in Name Mangling?

Name mangling, (the more politically correct term is name-decoration, although it is rarely used) is a method used by a C++ compiler to generate unique names for identifiers in a program. The exact details of the algorithm are compiler-dependent, and they may vary from one version to another. Name mangling ensures that entities with seemingly identical names still get unique identifications. The resultant mangled name contains all the necessary information that may be needed by the linker, such as linkage type, scope, calling convention, and so on. When a global function is overloaded, the generated mangled name for each overloaded version is unique. Name mangling is also applied to variables. Thus, a local variable and a global variable with the same user-given name still get distinct mangled names.
Danny Kalev
 
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