Coming from the linux word, I'm used to being able to set global environment variables in my ~/.bash_pofile, and having all apps (including GUI ones) inherit them.

Unfortunately, this wasn't the case under OSX, and it took me a little digging to discover how to accomplish the same: add them to ~/.MacOSX/environment.plist, e.g.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "
<plist version="1.0">