I am incredibly sad this morning. European users/embedders of xulrunner kept saying during the last months that xulrunner is going to lose ground in front Adobe Air and Microsoft Silverlight despite of a better, more powerful and more complete architecture, despite of what we feel is the need for Mozilla to have an ecosystem of different products around Firefox.

Well. It just happened. Yes, it did. Remember, the loud trumpets lauding the release of the eBay extension for Firefox. Yes, wow, a very nice-looking extension, very well done and very user-friendly. Coool, even big players like eBay invest on Mozilla. I am using it myself and I love it.

But this morning, something in my aggregator made me react. In one of the articles I got from a friend, there's a mention to something called the eBay Desktop. My very first thought was "COOOOL ! They extended the Firefox extensions to a full app based on xulrunner !".

Since I wanted to download the package manually, I ended up on a requirements page :

" To run eBay Desktop, you will need to download and install the AIR Beta 2 installers from Adobe. Next, download the eBay Desktop zip archive and extract and install eBayDesktop.air "

OMG. *SIGH*. And seconds later I discovered this review from Wired News :

" EBay's Flashy New Desktop App Is an Animated Delight .

(...)

To build the software client, which is a public beta release now, eBay partnered with Adobe, using the company's new AIR technology for running rich, web-enabled applications on the desktop. You'll need to have AIR installed on your computer before you can run eBay Desktop, but the installer will download both the AIR environment and the application itself, making setup rather painless.

AIR, you may notice, has much in common with Adobe's Flash platform for displaying interactive animations in the browser. AIR is still experimental, but it's already being used for some fun, internet-enabled desktop applications like word processors, RSS readers and blogging clients.

Ebay's new app is one more example of what the young platform can do."

Sigh, again. SIGH. Sad and disappointed.