The German word Mischgewebe, pronounced
[miʃgəwɛ:bə], describes a family of really crappy cheap fabrics. A high percentage of synthetics mixed with a really low percentage of cotton or not-quite-new wool.
Dyed in some brownish non-colour these fabrics are then transformed into the favourite garment of inhabitants of “Mortgage Hill”. These people often pass their dreary lives in the employ of VisualBasic sweat-shops who call themselves “Software Houses”.
When Mischgewebe meets sweat it emits an unmistakable stale odour. Anybody who ever walked through the cubicle farms of those VisualBasic sweat-shops won’t ever forget it.
At times it seems as if the fear that causes the smelly mixture becomes almost tangible. The dangling swords of mortgages, car loans and other monetary obligations.
Do customers still believe that timid over-mortgaged people in sweat-soaked cheap suits can produce great software?
Take a walk through the cubicle farms on the client side, and the answer to the above question will assault your nostrils. Same Mischgewebe, same smell of fear. These people can’t help but believe that their mirror images on the vendor’s side are “experts”. The mechanism is called ego protection.
In Germany this chain of trust between the Mischgewebe set costs untold billions every year. Government agencies on all levels staff their procurement bureaus with mediocre people in smelly suits who then award projects to other mediocre people in smelly suits.
Our government regularily pays outrageous per user license fees for crappy pieces of VisualBasic bolt-ons to Excel spreadsheets – that the Mischgewebe set agreed to label “custom-built applications”.
Public money is squandered on dysfunctional, faulty websites written by people who wouldn’t recognize a webstandard if it sat on their face and introduced itself. All because the mediocre people in smelly suits from the procurement side recognize themselves in the mediocre people in smelly suits from the cubicle farms of the grandiosly mislabelled “software houses”.
My hometown’s presence on Ye Olde Interweb is a shining example of this disastrous alliance. The website is a completely dysfunctional wreck made with nested frames. It is about as accessible as Fort Knox and about as 21st century as a Model T.
The company – lets call it CMSCorp – whose sodomization of ColdFusion™ the site uses as a CMS claims that they provide their clients with an “editor” that allegedly produces Section 508 compliant accessible websites. Their own website is made with this editor and fails the Section 508 test as well as the W3C validations miserably.
How bad is CMSCorp’s site? — Really bad!
Some sites generate error messages, some sites like Blogger™ blogs even generate lots of error messages – CMSCorp’s site however makes the W3C HTML-validator refuse validation. Honestly folks, the error message is “Validation impossible!” because nothing in the source maps to any known encoding.
Still, our Mischgewebe-clad mayor won’t hear any criticism and stubbornly maintains that the “certified experts from CMSCorp” assured him of the quality of the product and told him that “W3C is a bunch of well-meaning but irrelevant dilletantes”. — Sir Tim will be thrilled to bits, I assume.
On the website of said CMS provider is a big picture from their stand at one of those obscure provincial trade-shows where real hackers wouldn’t want to be seen dead and hanging from a fence. What does it show? Dilberts in Mischgewebe!