Help tracking down a shell problem

Pete pete at
Thu Oct 20 17:19:01 EDT 2011

Thanks for the quick responses everyone.  I should probably explain that I'm
trying to set initial values for some application preferences, which the
user can then change if necessary, so this is not a show stopper, just
something that would be nice to do.

Andre - I'll check out the files you mentioned, maybe that will reveal the
problem.  I do know that if I "answer $LANG" after the first line of the
script, I get en_US_POSIX but if I look at  $LANG in Terminal, it is set to
en_US.UTF-8, so clearly something is different.

Warren - I think you're probably right.  I do have an Applescript that plows
through the file to look for user settings
from the System Preferences and overwrite whatever I get from the shell

What really confuses shows up more in some of the other LC_xxx commands
which in LC often come back with 127 listed as the values for various
settings (I see Mark got that too).  I don't understand what the
significance of 127 is.

Molly's Revenge <>

On Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 1:23 PM, Warren Samples <warren at>wrote:

> On 10/20/2011 03:12 PM, Andre Garzia wrote:
>> Pete,
>> The terminal and the shell command are different beasts. On your mac, you
>> can check some hidden files:
>> .profile
>> .bash_profile
>> .bashrc
>> For example, my .profile changes my locale $LANG var.
>> I think that .profile always load but .bash_profile and .bashrc only loads
>> then you launch a terminal, but I am guessing. Its been a while since I
>> last
>> played this kind of game.
>> Anyway, the shell() executes stuff in "Mac OS X" graphical land, the
>> terminal is different. For example, IIRC applescript is not available when
>> the old engine was running on the terminal but was available if you
>> shell().
>> Its the little things...
> To expand (in a speculative manner!) on Andre's response, it seems probable
> that you are running into the difference between the System defaults and
> your User defaults. This is a little bit of a quagmire, but something that
> has been discussed here more than once in the past.
> Good Luck!
> Warren
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