[texhax] "Runaway Argument" error in auxiliary file.

Randy Schilling RChilling at comcast.net
Sun Nov 15 16:17:15 CET 2009

Hello -

I have a file DVP.tex that creates an auxiliary file DVPolfile.tex
which in turn creates the Table of Contents of the original DVP file.
The auxiliary file contains 555 lines, all but 5 of these lines are uses
of a macro \olfileline#1#2#3#4#5#6.  Each use of \olfileline in the
TOC corresponds to a line of the TOC.

The processing of the original file requires two TeX's.  The first
of these goes through without error (other than a 3 or 4 overfulls
which I'm not concerned with).  The second TeX brings up this error:

        Runaway argument?
        {The ``3d'' Command.  Mesh Approxima
        ! File ended while scanning use of \olfileline.        ...

The error message goes on but I'm almost certain that
none of the rest of it is important.  This error message
references line 187 of the auxiliary file which is this:

    \olfileline 4{The ``3d'' Command. Mesh Approximations to Common 
Geometrical Shapes.}0{{1}{2}{38}{6}}0{26}

When I hit Enter after this error message the processing of my
main file goes on without further interruption.   What I get for output
is an incomplete TOC; the TOC goes up to but does not
include the entry corresponding line 187 or any of the lines following
line 187.   This is what I would expect from the error message which
says "! File ended while scanning use of \olfileline."
The body of the main file is as it should be up to the material 
to this entry of the TOC, headers, header labels and content are just fine.
For material corresponding to entries beyond this one, headers and content 
just fine but header labels are missing.

This is baffling to me for the following reasons.
       1. The statement giving the error message, line 187 as I've entered 
it above,
           appears to me to be syntactically correct. It has 6 arguments, 
the fourth of
           which contains four subarguments. The number of subarguments of 
           fourth argument is always equal to the value of the first 
argument, 4 here.
        2. The fact that the TOC up to line 187 comes out correct suggests 
that this
            error is not somehow the result of some earlier undetected 
        3. When I interchange the culprit section of text from the body of 
my main file
            with the previous section of text, a section of text that 
contributes an
            \olfileline statement to the auxiliary file, an \olfileline 
statement that
            was processed correctly under the previous run, this statement 
            a similar such "Runaway argument" message.  The culprit 
            again appears at line 187 of the auxiliary file and what was the
            culprit statement, the one which in this experiment appears at 
line 186,
            processes as it should.
I'm hardly an expert at TeX but this experimentation suggests to me that
the syntax of my \olfileline statements is indeed correct and it is position
in the auxiliary file, line 187, that is somehow the cause of my problem.

Any suggestions would be most gratefully welcomed.

Regards - Randy

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