VRML activity seems to have largely died. I have some really cool VRML stuff that I developed, so maybe now that it is probably useless I may get a chance to publish it here. Stay tuned.
I expect Java to ultimately suffer a similar fate, but I may be guilty of wishful thinking.
I originally thought that VRML would be good for visualizing scientific data. Now I'm not so sure, because it is difficult to discern the type of information that you get from the axis of a two-dimensional graph. Using VRML too look at numeric results is like trying to measure the dimensions of a room by holding a ruler at arms length and eyeballing the wall. Not what you want.
The comp.graphics.rendering.raytracing FAQ doesn't mention VRML on the top page. Not a good sign for VRML!