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On some systems, `gcc -shared' needs to build supplementary stub code for constructors to work. On multi-libbed systems, `gcc -shared' must select the correct support libraries to link against. Failing to supply the correct flags may lead to subtle defects. Supplying them in cases where they are not necessary is innocuous.
The analogous feature in Fortran is called an assigned goto, but that name seems inappropriate in C, where one can do more than simply store label addresses in label variables.
A file's basename was the name stripped of all leading path information and of trailing suffixes, such as `.h' or `.C' or `.cc'.