In september last year the predictions in my posts The day after ajax and The beginning of Web 3.0 with Java Fat Clients are more likely to happen now. The, from my point of view, most revolutionary announcement at the JavaONE 2007 was the introduction of JRE Consumer Edition in early 2008. The update 2 of the JDK 1.6 will be leaner (approx. 2-5 MB) and faster, than the current release. The default look and feel of Swing will be also changed to Nimbus, which should help to promote Swing apps. So the adoption of Applets (:-)) and native JNLP-Application should increase - in case the deployment will be rock-solid and the install size small.
Small footprint, short installation times and faster execution are very important preconditions for adoption. On top of JRE consumer edition the additional synergies like: JSR-296 (Swing Dev Framework), JSR-295 (Beans Binding), JSR-277 (Java Module System) together with JPA (JSR-220) should help to streamline and simplify the realization of rich and interactive, but maintainable, rich (also fat) clients
Java FX Script on top could act as decorator and help building amazing UIs with less effort - Java FX script has access to the Java libraries as well as to Java-instances. UI-specific enhancements (e.g. support for animation-specific iterations etc.) require less code to write cool animations and effects. There are no WYSIWIG tools available yet, but it shouldn't be hard to build such. The JavaFX code is already lean, code completions works already well, only support for the visual creation of shapes would be great. We have already Matisse and Visual Web Pack - it shouldn't be hard to replace the code generator behind, to generate Java FX Script...
NEW: Online Workhop Effective WebApps without Frameworks is also coming to: MUC Airport.