There is exactly one Java application I use routinely, jedit. It is an excellent text editor. As it turns out, the author doesn’t think too highly of Java itself:
I wonder how an extensively hyped piece of software like Java 1.5 — Sun told us it was “the most stable Java release ever” — could be shipped out the door with such critical bugs. Anybody who is still attempting to do client-side development in Java is either retarded, a clueless summer intern working at Sun, or both. This must be why after 8 years of (broken) promises regarding Swing and client-side Java, there are exactly zero Java applications in wide use.
I agree with Slava. Java is a terrible platform for client-side work. Applets died quite some time ago, but now, the remaining client-side applications will live a slow, painful death.
Note: I still use Java extensively, but not for developing anything that looks like client-side applications. Yet, I seriously worry about Java’s future on the server as well… but this will be for another post…