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Positioning with css is not easy. Each method has drawbacks and it's hard to bring them together into a coherent page structure. Relative positioning requires care to avoid overlaps/cutoffs (nothing worse than your content div getting cut off by the browser window). Absolute positioning has overlap problems if the space that the div will occupy isn't "cut-out" by the margins of other elements. Absolute positioning also creates the link problems mentioned in the article and more severe link problems with ie mac. Floating is hard to consistently control across browsers. And of course, fixed positioning just plain doesn't work in ie.
But I guess that's what makes it fun,
I have also just looked at a demo that uses display:inline-block - get your head round that one! It seems to work in the same way as floats in that block elements fit on the same line. Alas the demo only works in Opera 7, and others claim attempts to use the code cause major problems with padding and text.
The odd thing is, we've all been using floats since the early days of HTML in the late 90's. Because images are classed as floats. (See the Floatutorial site - or is it Floatamatic?)
Admittedly I don't have much experience with classic html (and what I do have was through the darkened glass of dreamweaver), but I remember images showing up as inline boxes and messing up the line-height. It's kind of similar to a float because images don't force a new line, but the following text aligns to the baseline rather than the top.