It means that something/someone on your computer did a wacky thing.

GPSBabel for mac is shipped as a .dmg that has a single .app - GPSBabelFE, which is the GUI Front End.  An OS/X app is "just" a structured directory full of stuff.  You can see this in Finder if you do a "show package contents". Down in Contents/ you'll find normal things in Resources/ like icon images and translations.  In MacOS/ you'll find the actual executable that starts when you click on the launcher icon (GPSBabelFE) and normally, you'll see a sibling to that, gpsbabel, that's what's actually run when you click "convert".

Somehow, your .app bundle has become broken and gpsbabel isn't where GPSBabelFE expects to find it.

If you're into OS/X esoterica, you can probably undo what you did, but you'll probably find it easier to just open the .dmg that you downloaded and drag the full app into Applications (like pretty much every Mac program that wasn't written by a Windows dev...) and that'll copy the full .app as one atomic unit, preserving the relationship between GPSBabelFE and gpsbabel - and everything else that it needs like translations, javascript helpers for the maps, etc.
On Sat Nov 09 2013 at 7:31:16 AM, Vernon Deal <> wrote:
I couldn't find a search function on the list so I'll ask this. I'm running Mac OS X 10.6.8 on a MacPro. I have the latest version (1.44) of GPSBabel. When I click on the GPSBabelFE icon I get the following message:

"Error reading format configuration. Check that the backend program "gpsbabel" is properly installed and is in the current PATH. This program cannot continue."

What do I need to do to fix this? Thanks.