Sue Spielman has some more details on Project Rave. The key phrase here is “simplified development model”, in accordance with Sun’s aim of “lowering the barrier and entry point for the corporate developers” and “sucking up the VB corporate/IT programmers into the Java platform”. It’s another thing that, as Sue reported, a 404 error surfaced during Hammerhead’s demo at JavaOne.
Rave uses NetBeans Platform as its base (though visually it will be different) along with Java Server Faces and JDBC Rowsets standards. And if you didn’t know Sun has no plan to make this project open source.