i dont see what the problem with layers is, i mean when html started would they not of wanted a tag so that they could stick whatever in a certain position were tables really designed for what they are used for? why o why cant netscape just follow ie or vice versa it would be all so easy then
HTML wasn't designed for commercial websites. HTML was designed for the simple electronic presentation of scientific and academic reports and journals.
Only after the Internet was heavily commercialized in 1994 and 1995 did layout and design begin to have any meaning on the Web.
Shortly after this the Browser Wars broke out and the W3C could barely hold on to the HTML standard that they were entrusted with. At that time, they were working on a standard called HTML+ that would have more presentation and design features. However Microsoft and Netscape didn't like HTML+ and pushed through HTML 3.2 which was a chaotic standard full of previously proprietary tags. In 1997 the W3C had once again gained control of the standard and started to clean everything up. To do this they had to deprecate a lot of tags people had grown used to and find a new way for style and presentation to be represented and also control the emerging document models. From this work we got a more advanced version of CSS and DOM along with HTML 4.0.
Still time went on and the browser companies went their own way with proprietary tags or perversions of the standards. Only now that we are in the fifth generation of HTML Browsers (IE 5+ and Netscape 6) are we close to seeing a true standard. While I don't expect this to happen for a while, I think it will happen in the next few years and include a new generation of browsers with unforeseen capabilities.
WOW...Thats a really good timeline..
To comment on layers specifically, NS6 no longer supports layers. The layer tag is propriatary and no longer supported by NS6 along with all other propriatary tags, NS and IE alike.