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Excerpts from William Ahern's message of 2016-04-23 00:46:14 +0200:
>   object files consisting of the original program image file, any executable
>                              ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

In practice, most implementations return NULL and dlsym(NULL, ...) works
to the same effect. The main issue is that linkers don't preserve global
symbols of main executable unless specifically instructed to do so.