“Failed to retrieve the list schema for feature” caused by missing BaseView in List element

I needed a very basic custom list template with one custom content type and a few custom fields. I first started by copying schema.xml from a feature I recently used and started to modify it. To make a long story short: I got some errors in the views I couldn’t figure out, so I decided to start fresh by copying the schema.xml from the OOB CustList feature and copy’n’paste needed customization from the “old” schema.xml.

When I tried to create a list I got the famous: 

Cannot complete this action.
Please try again.   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequestInternalClass.CreateListFromFormPost(String bstrUrl, String& pbstrGuid, String& pbstrNextUrl)
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequest.CreateListFromFormPost(String bstrUrl, String& pbstrGuid, String& pbstrNextUrl)

In the Sharepoint logs I found this:

Failed to retrieve the list schema for feature [FEATURE GUID], list template [TEMPLATE]; expected to find it at: "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\Template\Features\[FEATURENAME]\[LIST]".    
Failed to find the list schema for FeatureId ‘[FEATURE GUID]’, list template ID [TEMPLATE].  Cannot create list in web "[WEBURL]" at URL "(null)".    

This error is often caused by having more than one directory level in the feature folder. But in my case none of the suggestions Google gave me was valid.

I therefore tried to start with a fresh schema.xml but this time without modification. Deployed and added a list. No problem. I thereby modified the List attributes. Deploy. No problem. Added the content types. Again no problem. Added the fields. No problem! Added ViewFields. No problem!!! At this stage the schema.xml was practically identically to the one that caused the error – with one exception: The BaseView=”0” attribute of the List element was included in the working version. Hmmm, the documentation states that this attribute is optional. But as soon as I remove it, the error occurs.

Conclusion: The BaseView attribute is not optional. At least in this case…