Pretty straightforward, was wondering what the inspiration or precedent for the CSS 'float' concept. I'm not familiar with any other graphic APIs or other layout DSLs that use this concept, but it's such a huge part of HTML layouts. I'm curious if a previous language had a similar concept, or if 'floats' originated from the land of HTML/CSS. Thanks.

  • I recall working with floating images in page layout in Microsoft Word and Aldus Pagemaker in the mid to late '80s. The concept of floating images is part of page layout that html adopted.
    – user40980
    Apr 14, 2013 at 2:46
  • 2
    It probably goes back to the days of manual typesetting.
    – p.s.w.g
    Apr 14, 2013 at 2:57

1 Answer 1


LaTeX has them. Tables and figures are typically floats. They are automatically placed in a good place rather than just wherever in your document you put them. The idea there presumably comes from how figures in books and articles are typically placed where there is room as opposed to just in the text.

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