Googling this I found ONE ARTICLE (within the search) about the CSS specs not requiring position in table elements!!! Meaning that many UAs don't have the ability to give a TD relative position.
what this means that any child element that's AP'ed will be positioned relative to a parent of the Table and not the cell in which it is contained. :/
Well not exactly, if you wrap the contents of the cell , in a Div , for example then you can position any child of the div relative to the div, and it will be almost equivalent to having AP off of the cell.
Well the article I found was dated 2005, I am stil showing that TD are tricky to style as far as RP goes, so I am still using the wrap method.. but I was curious to know if anyone has found an alternate way to position something off of a cell.
Your findings are correct. Browsers won't recognize position:relative on a table cell
I nest a <div> directly inside the table cell to overcome this
There really is no beter option.