Looking for info about sparc solaris gnome and LC_ALL/LC_CTYPE

Up until late yesterday, we'd been having some puzzling behavior 
trying to get kinput2 and some apps to work.  Turns out that something
in the gnome environment setup prior to a user's .profile was setting
LC_ALL and LC_CTYPE to "C" ; with those variables set to C, the kinput2
and the X input method functionality wasn't cooperating.  Once the
users unset the LC_ALL and LC_CTYPE variables, things seem to work.

Can anyone point me to a discussion of why these variables are set
and what the consequences are of unsetting them?  In what parts of
GNOME might we expect problems with them unset?
Tcl - The glue of a new generation.  <URL: http://wiki.tcl.tk/ >
Larry W. Virden <mailto:lvirden cas org> <URL: http://www.purl.org/NET/lvirden/>
Even if explicitly stated to the contrary, nothing in this posting should 
be construed as representing my employer's opinions.

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