About Us

If you ever need to know anything about us, organizationally, this is where we will put it. Until then, we will use this space to review some technical details of this site that may be relevant from the perspective of our guests – especially guests with older browsers or javascript disabled.

Browser Support

This site is best viewed through a modern browser. Our browser support policy is similar to that of Google for its “Google Apps” products. More specifically, we support the current and previous major releases of Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Each time a new version of these browsers is released, we begin supporting the new release and drop support of the oldest previously supported version.

This policy is not as draconian as it may seem. We don’t go out of our way to break previously supported browsers. Rather, we just quit testing changes to the site on the older products. Typically, many older versions of Safari, Chrome, and Firefox work quite well with this site. The same statement does not hold for Internet Explorer. Currently, Internet Explorer 10 and 11 are supported. Internet Explorer 9 works reasonably well. Legacy versions of Internet Explorer (IE 8 or earlier) are problematic. Most of their difficulties are primarily due to their lack of support for modern CSS facilities.

A note for Opera users. Although not formally supported, we do inspect the site through Opera from time to time. We are not aware of any glaring issues when viewing the site with recent versions of Opera.

Mobile Device Support

We have expended some effort to provide a pleasant experience when viewing this site on mobile devices. However, we must contrain that statement by the word Apple. We don’t have a philosophical objection to Android or Windows mobile devices. We are just an Apple shop and don’t purchase other vendors’ devices for testing. That being said, we aren’t aware of any theoretical difficulties to viewing our content with recent non-Apple mobile browsers. No Apple specific techniques were used when coding this site.

Math Publication

Mathematical content on this site is encoded using presentation MathML.

If you are browsing this site with a recent version of any major browser, you should have a pretty good math viewing experience. We use MathJax to publish mathematics. MathJax renders mathematical content through javascript served to your browser. MathJax allows browsers with native MathML support (e.g. Firefox) to process MathML internally for increased rendering speed. However, we suppress this option to improve the consistency of rendering across browsers.

MathJax provides web fonts for math rendering, so no font installation is required on the browsing device. If you have the STIX fonts installed locally, MathJax will use them. This will speed up math rendering somewhat, since the web fonts don’t have to download.

Our article Viewing Mathematics on the Internet thoroughly examines the current state of online math publication and browsing. Its introduction provides a summary of the status of MathML rendering by browser. The concluding remarks examine additional aspects of publishing/viewing mathematics on this site. In between, a variety of relevant topics are thoroughly investigated.

Javascript Requirements

JavaScript is used throughout this site – think menu navigation, traffic cameras, historical atlases, and interactive maps. So things will go more smoothly if JavaScript is enabled in your browser. Furthermore, we have not expended much effort to gracefully degrade pages when JavaScript is not available. If you routinely disable JavaScript, we suspect this is a familiar scenario.

Per the preceding section, the mathematical content of this site is rendered via MathJax which requires JavaScript to function correctly. Hence, math rendering is problematic when JavaScript is disabled. See our remarks on viewing math at vismor.com for remedial information.

Practically speaking, JavaScript is required to view this site.

Standards Compliance

This site is served as HTML5. We previously served our content as xml/xhtml to browsers that provide xml support. We changed our policy since it seemed that was not the direction the internet was heading.