When the page is smaller than the viewable area you can see the footer which is good
When the page is longer than the viewable area and you need to scroll down the page I scroll as far down as I can but I can't see the footer or else I can just see the very tips of the top of the footer text, it's below the viewable area and I can't figure out how to stop this happening, the code below is the page and css, if you are testing it you will need to add enough text where it says LOTS OF TEXT to make the page scroll then the proble should Occur this only effects Internet Explorer 6
First: validate your code. E.g. you cannot put a <div> inside a <span>
The problem is figuring out where the browser would close the elements on its own with the invalid code.
But if you suppose there are no children in the spans in your footer then the footer has no height and no children that are in the flow, so no reason to have a height. Yet the absolutely positioned elements will use the collapsed element for their positioning and cold very well end up underneath it all. A lot is browser dependent.
Easiest to figure out what goes where is to set different background colors on the different elements.