[OS X TeX] BibTeX mystery

Ross Moore ross at ics.mq.edu.au
Wed Dec 27 18:11:45 EST 2006

Hi Stephen,

On 28/12/2006, at 9:26 AM, Stephen Moye wrote:

>> The entries are indeed there.
>> Much puzzled: where did I go wrong? Any ideas?
> Well, this was a bit of a surprise. For my convenience, I put an  
> alias of the .bib file (I'm using bibdesk) in the directory with my  
> project -- and that was the problem.

An alias is itself a file, in some sense,
as is a directory by-the-way.

Some executable programs open files at a "low-level",
rather than via "higher-level" OS calls -- which would
know what to do with aliases.

> As soon as either I deleted the alias or renamed it, the problem  
> went away.

So BibTeX was reading the data of the alias itself,
not the data of the file that the alias points-to.

Only with experiences such as this do you learn when aliases
can be used, and when not. When an alias doesn't work, you need
to ensure that your input files are in the standard locations,
as determined by the variables defined within the  texmf.cnf  file.
(Or you can adjust those definitions, if you dare!!)


Hope this helps,


Ross Moore                                         ross at maths.mq.edu.au
Mathematics Department                             office: E7A-419
Macquarie University                               tel: +61 +2 9850 8955
Sydney, Australia  2109                            fax: +61 +2 9850 8114

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