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Here's a slew of items that ought to make anyone interested in the health of Java as a rich Internet application platform take pause. First off, Madison startup Sharendipity is running a series of blog posts about porting a Java-based application to Flex. After discussing why in many ways Java is a more appealing language to work in, the author gets to the heart of the matter:
Java's brand is failing. JavaFX has long been touted as the solution to Java's woes, but it has been too long in getting released. In the meantime, Flash has continued to dominate. Silverlight has come on as a competitor, but it will be years before it has the kind of market penetration that Flash has. The single biggest problem with Java right now is the name itself. If you see the Java applet loading, you click every visible link that you can to get off the page.
Meanwhile, JavaLobby has a a helpful article that will help Java developers jump ship to Adobe's RIA platform. If that's not bad enough for poor JavaFX, Frank Sommers over at Artima Developer feels that the still infant RIA language is stealing valuable development time from Swing. With that in mind, this blog entry from Danny Coward extolling the many RIA options for Java (many of which are not yet at 1.0 status) seems a little off-base.