I tend to agree that client-side Java is far from dead. I’ve thought this for quite some time now, and this has been reinforced by my current project where we are developing a very large Swing GUI with good success.
Petreley points out the existance of many open-source development environments, written in Java, as evidence that client-side Java is not dead.
I’d like to add another reason. I think that the hype surrounding web applications has been subsiding for at least a year now. Whenever I’ve been asked to create an HTML web application for a client, they want to cram more and more fat-client features into the browser. Things like verification in text fields, complex tables, tabbed panes, etc…
The problem is that HTML is HORRIBLE for rich GUIs like this. When you want rapid data entry, client-side validation, sorting and filtering on tables, and things like tree views, it is hard to beat a GUI toolkit like Swing.