[texhax] Bilbliography problem

Uwe Lück uwe.lueck at web.de
Tue Nov 8 03:42:15 CET 2005

Filst black to the olilginal blilbioglalphy plolblem:

At 17:07 04.11.05, Morten Høgholm wrote:

>In this case \@listctr is undefined. The most likely thing to cause this
>problem is that the document class or a package used defines the
>"thebibliography" environment but does not issue \usecounter internally.
>This would indeed lead to the error message that \@listctr is undefined.
>
>So Zak, which document class are you using? And where did you get it

No, back to the fairness matter: Morten, you are narrowing
the space of adequate diagnoses down very much, making
use of specific information from Zak that Robin is not
willing to acknowledge:

At 11:56 01.11.05, Zak wrote:

>[13.1] [14.1]) [15.1] (zthesis.bbl
>! Undefined control sequence.
><argument> \@listctr
>
>l.3 \bibitem{str98}
>
>? (press return then the following)
>
>! You can't use \relax' after \the.
>
>l.3 \bibitem{str98}
>
>?
>
>It does this for all the references written up into the .bbl file form .bib.

Robin's complaint that not even the TeX format was named
made me look at LaTeX for \@listctr, and then I had a similar
idea as you, Morten. However, I cannot imagine that
Zak has been provided by anyone with a redefinition of
\thebibligraphy that never has worked.

For other readers: \@listctr usually is defined by \usecounter
which should accompany any list definition. Otherwise,
the reported error messages result from processing
\the\value{\@listctr} in \@bibitem.

My favourite diagnosis is the following story:
At his first try, Zak started his bibliography roughly as follows:

\section*{Bibliography}
\bibitem{str98}

thus, no \begin{thebibliography} at all.
For plausibility, remember an earlier posting here

\begin{enumerate}
\include...
\include...

-- no \item. -- However, instead of what Zak reports,
the first error message from a \bibitem outside a
{bibliography} environment suggests a missing list
environment'. Now, this may be understood as:
\begin{list} is missing. So add it; e.g.:

\section*{Bibliography}
\begin{list}{}{}
\bibitem{str98}

Now you get exactly the error messages that Zak reports.
So no extra mysterious package would be involved.

OK, this rather was sports, just to prove that I was right,
not to be expected from an ordinary guru, not to encourage
unspecific requests. Maybe I am too much occupied
by statements that I read and I find outright wrong.

Moreover, I don't expect that it is useful to ask Zak
again here. Maybe he has found his blunder by himself
(in working on a minimal example) and now is ashamed,
maybe (additionally) he suffered much from the unfriendly
welcome and doesn't read texhax any more.

So much for the rather personal things tonight.

Best,
Uwe.