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In Visual Studio, the designer typically hangs for a good 2-5 seconds while loading. This locks up the UI to change between Designer/Source. This timing can increase with further complex layouts and the 2-5 seconds is a bit much for developers to quickly make changes to their layout code.
In Visual Studio for Mac, the designer allows the user to instantly navigate to the "Source" tab and make the changes while the designer is loading.
There's two ways to workaround this issue in Visual Studio:
1) Change the .axml extension to .xml thus forcing the .xml editor to appear
This however prevents the user from seeing what their layout looks like as the VS android designer does not work with the .xml extension. Visual Studio for Mac however allows for .xml files
2) Right click the .axml file and use "Open With..." then you can choose a XML editor
This however is a couple of clicks which is also detrimental to productivity.
The Designer when preparing/loading should not lock the UI which allows the user to switch to the Source tab, it should allow the designer to load in the background while making changes to the XML directly. This way developers do not have to change their layout extensions nor use a workaround above.
Otherwise there should be a project/IDE setting in which the developer can indicate if they want the designer or source tab to appear first when loading a layout file.
*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of bug 57722 ***