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Hmm, in my experience with Mach-O, I have never come across atoms. For example, in this file format reference, atoms are not mentioned -- only the more traditional segment/section hierarchy: https://github.com/aidansteele/osx-abi-macho-file-format-ref...

What am I missing?

I do note that on OS X, -ffunction-sections appears to do nothing.

Sorry, I was wrong to characterize the atom being a core part of the MachO object format while it is only a core part of how ld64 works. The compiler is following some convention though that ld64 takes advantages of. Other than ld64 source code (available on opensource.apple.com) I can only point to some design document in the source repo: https://opensource.apple.com/source/ld64/ld64-253.6/doc/desi...

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