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 “G Suite” products. More specifically, we support the current stable release of Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. Each time a new version of these browsers is released, we begin supporting the new release and drop support of the 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, Edge, and Firefox work quite well with this site.

The statement does not apply to legacy MS Edge and Internet Explorer products. We don’t test Internet Explorer 11 or non-chromium Edge, but they support encyption algortihms that are capable of accessing the site on Windows 10.

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 – since recent versions are based on the Chromium project and share a common infrastructure with Google Chrome.

Mobile Device Support

We have expended effort to provide a pleasant experience when viewing this site on mobile devices. However, we must constrain 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.

Early versions of Android and iOS do not provide adequate cryptographic facilities for accessing 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 also provides web fonts for rendering mathematics, so no font installation is required on the browsing device.

Javascript Requirements

JavaScript is used throughout this site – think menu navigation, traffic cameras, historical atlases, formal documents, 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 is implemented in JavaScript. Hence, math rendering is problematic when JavaScript is disabled.

Practically speaking, JavaScript is required to view this site.

HTML 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 implementation when it became apparent that was not the direction the internet was heading.

Network Technology

By default, this site is served via HTTP/3 over QUIC. For older browsers, we still support HTTP/2 and HTTP/1.1 over TLS 1.3 and TLS 1.2.

We serve both ECHDSA and RSA certificates for encryption purposes. By default, the site serves an ECDSA certificate and uses X25519 key exchange. For HTTP/2 connections, the preferred TLS 1.3 cipher suite is AES-256-GCM-SHA384. For TLS 1.2, the preferred cipher suite is ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384. The minimum strength cipher suite that is accepted is the TLS 1.2 algorithm ECDHE-RSA-AES128-SHA256. The server’s basic cipher preferences are ECDSA over RSA for key exchange and AES-256-GCM > CHACHA20 > AES-128-GCM for block ciphers.

Practically, this implies all modern browsers provide adequate encryption support. Some pertinent browser version minima follow:

The QUIC standard, RFC 9000, was published by the IETF on 2022–02–19. It was followed by the HTTP/3 standard, RFC9114, on 2022–06–09. The final version of HTTP/3 over QUIC is supported in recent releases of most common browsers. Some relevant browser version minima for HTTP/3 support follow:

HTTP/2 support is available “out of the box” from all currently shipping browsers.