About Positioning Elements in HTML...
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The positioning elements in HTML were introduced by Netscape to allow an author to define precisely positioned, 2-dimensional layout consisting of overlapping layers of transparent or solid content on a web page. Content of these positioning mechanisms can be treated as a single item of content that can be moved and altered in various ways.

These elements are curious in that it mirrors almost all of the functionality and capabilities now offered through the Style Sheet Positioning [-->Index DOT Css] properties. for Cascading Style Sheets. The LAYER and ILAYER elements are essentially HTML-based solutions to the same functionality that these CSS properties provide. It is interesting to note that support for CSS positioning and the LAYER/ILAYER elements appeared in Netscape at the same time (4.x.) However, CSS positioning has been created with the official sanctioning of the W3C, and Netscape itself has abandoned support for these elements after 4.x. Hence, use of these elements is NOT recommended.

[ <Ilayer>, <Layer>, <Nolayer> ]
This element indicates an "in-line" layer. If no positioning is specified, the layer will appear within the flow of a document (behaving like an IMG element.) If positioning values ARE used on this type of layer, the positioning coordinates are relative to where the layer would ordinarily occur in the document flow.
This type of layer is also known as an "out-of-flow" or "positioned" layer. It is used to define explicit positioning of a block of content.
This element is used to mark a section of document content for display only for backward compatibility purposes. Browsers that understand HTML positioning elements will ignore this and non-supporting browsers will render it. It may also be applicable when non-conforming browsers try to render layered pages that include these elements using the SRC attribute. In such a case, older browsers would not be able to access the referenced sub-document, so this element becomes a necessary fallback.

Related Sites
Official References
Netscape's documentation for the LAYER/ILAYER/NOLAYER elements

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