I turned on "comment approval" a while back and used to get e-mails telling me comments were waiting.  Apparently my Spam filter was eating them, so I apologize to Daniel who posted several notes, in particular this one:

John,

Mano seems quite bullish on the notion of designers and developers seamlessly interoperating...

People I've discussed it with are skeptical - we've been promised the same with visual interdev, asp.net, etc. but it has fallen down in real-world practice on big systems.

What are your thoughts about making this work in the "real world" -- i.e. without world-class designers like Mano who grok the technology AND have the design chops. Will I be able to allow your average graphic designer/artist type who's never seen a line of C# check in to my source tree?

Thanks for your great demo and for what looks to be a sweet product.

Cheers - Daniel

I've heard this criticism before and it is completely valid.  I don't think we're doing a lot different as far as just splitting up the design from the code than ASP.NET etc. have done.  In Avalon we do have a platform that was developed from the start with designers and tools in mind, so I think we have some advantages over HTML with its mongrel origins in the mind of Tim B-L and the browser warriors.  But I think the real point we're trying to make is that this sort of workflow has never been possible for "desktop" applications before.  This is part of the "best of the web" (hopefully made somewhat better) applied back to the "best of Windows".

We have tested Sparkle with non-Mano designers.  The early results are mixed but promising.  I'll write soon about the Model/View/ViewModel pattern our development team uses to try to maximize our designers.