This post will be not very technical but I would like to share some of my experience related to Internet applications development.
It's quite a few years I have been involved into web applications development. I started from PHP, then moved to ASP.NET, then to JSF, then AJAX diluted all that stuff, and finally I moved to Adobe Flex. The trend is obvious: web applications must be as closed to desktop counterparts as possible. Adobe Flex is really cool, very coooool ... I didn't play with Microsoft Silverlight and JavaFX too much but it all about the same.
As more reach become web applications, more features are requested from them. For developers it's a whole new world to explore. My current project is built on top of Adobe Flex and Java. It worth-while to say that Adobe Flex and Java integrates very good via BlazeDS (opensource) or LCDS (commercial) bridges. SpringSource provides excellent support for Flex and BlazeDS development by means of Spring BlazeDS integration project.
What all this is about... Development of RIA on top of Java platform is a challenge which requires from developer to engage the whole new technology stack. It's something which couldn't be done using pure Java platform. JavaFX is coming, but too late. Will it be successful?
Nevertheless, I would like to encourage developers to consider Adobe Flex as part of your next web project. It's worthwhile the time you will spend on it.