My vague recollection from the early days was that you could program
for Gnome in any language you wanted, because all the ones that
mattered had bindings, although Guile scheme was the Official glue
that held things together. But most importantly, there was an object
system similar in concept to Microsoft's DCOM, and since the
lack of this on Linux was obviously holding back Linux, creating it
would entice all the EDA vendors and Adobe to port their wares to
Gnome, and Gnome/Linux would take over the desktop.
Then years later, Mono came along, which was once again similar enough
in concept to Microsoft's offering (C# and its runtime) that it should
attract developers, and Gnome/Linux would take over the desktop.
Then around 2009 or so I got tired of caring about Gnome, and started
using XFCE because it was simple and didn't get between me and my
applications. By this time the browser had finally become the platform
it promised to be 10 years earlier, so object models and garbage-collected
system languages didn't matter so much anymore.