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The Return of the Java Applet

The next update to Java 6 is going to include a 4 MB-ish installer for the core pieces, a JavaScript deployment toolkit, and a bunch of other improvements for Java applets and Web Start programs

It also comes with a new Swing theme with a baffling choice of scrollbars (in the second image in the link). Perhaps it looks good to everyone but me, perhaps I've been around good Flash designers for too long, or perhaps Java still can't figure out GUI development.

The overall update looks very intriguing, and it'll be interesting to see if the focus stays on the client side for Java. If the work continues, Java could end up being more useful than Silverlight to a lot of developers. But not as useful as Flex, of course!