Template Absolute and Relative paths. What does that mean?
An absolute path is from the upper most level of the directory tree. Ie.
A relative path is relative to the current working directory. In the case of a web server, that would be the document root. Ie. In PHP
In the example above the document root is
/home/sonassi/www - making the relative path to
index.php. The leading
./ just denotes the current directory.
You should always use relative paths for cross-platform compatibility
Eg. Magento uses a relative path for the
./app/Mage.php include in
index.php - which means even if you change server, it will still look only in the
app subdirectory for the file.
But if they had defined an absolute path, eg.
/home/sonassi/www/app/Mage.php - then it means if you ever moved servers - and the document root was no longer
/home/sonassi/www - then the hardcoded path would no longer be valid.
Absolute paths have their place - but as far as Magento templates are concerned (ie. definitions in XML files, they should always be relative)