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Professional Assembly Language by Richard Blum

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Chapter 3. The Tools of the Trade

Now that you are familiar with the IA-32 hardware platform, it's time to dig into the tools necessary to create assembly language programs for it. To create assembly language programs, you must have some type of development environment. Many different assembly language development tools are available, both commercially and for free. You must decide which development environment works best for you.

This chapter first examines what development tools you should have to create assembly language programs. Next, the programming development tools produced by the GNU project are discussed. Each tool is described, including downloading and installation.

The Development Tools

Just like any other profession, programming requires the proper tools to perform the job. To create a good assembly language development environment, you must have the proper tools at your disposal. Unlike a high-level language environment in which you can purchase a complete development environment, you often have to piece together an assembly language development environment. At a minimum you should have the following:

  • An assembler

  • A linker

  • A debugger

Additionally, to create assembly language routines for other high-level language programs, you should also have these tools:

  • A compiler for the high-level language

  • An object code disassembler

  • A profiling tool for optimization

The following sections describe each of these tools, and how they are used in the assembly language development environment. ...

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