Elliotte Harold is absolutely right when he suggests that people should leave Java alone. New technologies compete on features; mature technologies compete on deployment.
Let’s value our mature, middle-aged technologies for what they are, rather than destroying their dignity by pumping them full of features botox and slashing them up with plastic-surgery keyword changes to try to trick people into thinking they’re young and immature.
With some minor lapses, the W3C has done well avoiding the temptation to improve XML to death. XML is still, in every way that matters, the same as it was when the initial recommendation came out nine years ago — warts and all — and that’s why it’s so widely used. Sun should pay very close attention, since Java’s around the same age, and is deployed in many of the same places. The people who actually decide to use Java and XML to run organizations and do real work (not bloggers, but architects, project managers and even sometimes CTOs) appreciate them for precisely that stability and dependability.