Archive for BibTeX

BibTool on the air

Posted in Books, Linux, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2014 by xi'an

Yesterday night, just before leaving for Coventry, I realised I had about 30 versions of my “mother of all .bib” bib file, spread over directories and with broken links with the original mother file… (I mean, I always create bib files in new directories by a hard link,

    ln ~/mother.bib

but they eventually and inexplicably end up with a life of their own!) So I decided a Spring clean-up was in order and installed BibTool on my Linux machine to gather all those versions into a new encompassing all-inclusive bib reference. I did not take advantage of the many possibilities of the program, written by Gerd Neugebauer, but it certainly solved my problem: once I realised I had to set the variates

check.double = on
check.double.delete = on
pass.comments = off

all I had to do was to call

bibtool -s -i ../*/*.bib -o mother.bib
bibtool -d -i mother.bib -o mother.bib
bibtool -s -i mother.bib -o mother.bib

to merge all bib file and then to get rid of the duplicated entries in mother.bib (the -d option commented out the duplicates and the second call with -s removed them). And to remove the duplicated definitions in the preamble of the file. This took me very little time in the RER train from Paris-Dauphine (where I taught this morning, having a hard time to make the students envision the empirical cdf as an average of Dirac masses!) to Roissy airport, in contrast with my pedestrian replacement of all stray siblings of the mother bib into new proper hard links, one by one. I am sure there is a bash command that could have done it in one line, but I spent instead my flight to Birmingham switching all existing bib files, one by one…

one of those weird LaTeX incidents…

Posted in Books, University life with tags , , , on February 26, 2013 by xi'an

This afternoon, I had to recompile a LαTεX file written two years ago (in French) and it returned the error:

 Missing \endcsname inserted.
<to be read again>
                   \unskip
l.182 \citeyear{berger:robert:1990}
       avec James Berger dans un article aux {\...

and I couldn’t figure out what had changed into the compiler to produce this strange message… Except that removing the line

\usepackage[french]{babel}

was removing the error message (but producing garbage French!).

I thus checked on forums and found some solution on a French LαTεX users forum called MathemaTeX. The issue had to do with using `:’ in my reference codes… However, after fiddling with this solution, I ended up with

\usepackage[french,english]{babel}

as enough to remove the error message and produce the same output as earlier. Weird! (As I always use the same bibTeX file and do use babel-french from time to time… Maybe not that often with citations, actually!)

bibtex tricks

Posted in Books, University life with tags , , , on September 18, 2011 by xi'an

Two BibTeX tricks I had forgotten and needed for a CHANCE book review:

  1. Moving the heading from a huge Bibliography to a smaller Further referencescan be done by
    \renewcommand{\bibsection}{\subsection*{Further references}}
  2. Adding references in the list without making quotes can be done by
    \nocite{dempster:laird:rubin:1977}

(Anyone interested in a chance,bst?)