The Mono/Java patent debate is back it seems. Personally I think I agree with Miguel and Nat. If we let the fear of patents paralyze us we might as well give up right away. Havoc’s argument about Novell trying to force everyone to take a risk doesn’t really hold water. It is the same kind of argument SCO makes about using Red Hat at all, which I assume Havoc thinks we should ignore.
GNOME is a free software project and as such the people involved with active contributions decide where we go next. This meant a lot of changes have been made in GNOME between 1.x and 2.x and it has meant changing the default behaviour of Nautilus simply because the people doing the actual work thought it was the right thing to do. And this is the way it has to be; while I personally is rather lukewarm about spatial Nautilus I also accept that unless I personally is ready to maintain a version of Nautilus functionaling differently my vote on how Nautilus is supposed to work will be abysmally smaller than the votes of Dave and Alexander. The only veto power any developer(s) or companies hold is confined to what they themselves are planing on doing or not doing.
So if developers in general embrace Mono and use it for their development that is their choice and at some point the amount of stuff being done using Mono might get large enough for GNOME to officially start including Mono based technologies. Wether Red Hat or Sun will do so in their versions of GNOME is their choice, but I think the story of open source software is that it is such a strong force that no company can stand against it.
The good thing I think the SCO case has shown us is that when someone tries to strongarm us the open source collaborative model can also work in a legal fight. Groklaw is an open source project, with a maintainer in the form of PJ, which has helped dig up a lot of information truly usefull in the fight against SCO. If the day come where Microsoft or Sun or anyone else tries to go after companies/people for using Mono or Java I think the community will respond by digging up all the prior art we need to bury the case and the company for good.
As a sidenote: If anyone out there has managed to get a atmel based wireless card working with the Fedora 2 2.6 kernel please let me know how