Historically, Java has not been incorporated in free software projects like GNOME because the Java license and standards bodies value cross platform portability over giving developers the right to fork the Java platform at their whim.

That's interesting -- I've always known that C++ is "the" langauge for Linux (as well as Perl, Python, and some other "langs"), but hadn't really thought about why. The above quote is dealing with a post called, "Java, Mono, or C++, that's discussing where GNOME should take its development next.

Now that I think about the issues and the options, it becomes pretty easy to see why Linux stays C++. There are concerns over licensing of certain APIs in Mono vs. .NET to the point that there are two main chunks of Mono, one that can be cast off in a moment's notice if MS pursues the issue (rather, "cast off" into "pay to play" land). Java is Sun's baby, and I can understand why you wouldn't want to build GPL on top of (c) 2004 Sun. And so you're nearly left only with C++ as a safe, universally accepted and used option. The heirs apparent are all closed source or wholly owned options. That's not so kewl for OSS.