I wonder if it would help to solve my problem if I reworded the question.
Where are the characteristics of module positions defined in Joomla Version 1.5? The tutorial for adding a custom module position is written for what looks like Joomla 1.0. I have been looking in the JA Labra template to see where the porperties of user3 user4 and user5 are specified, but I cannot find those definitions anywhere. I found the position names in the xml file, but that's all.
Please could the developer of Labra answer this, or some other knowledgeable person.
Actually the penny dropped this afternoon while reading another article on ccs driven layouts while waiting for my car maintenance to be finished. I see now that the positioning is all controlled by the <divs> in the index.php file. I think I can see now how to modify the index.php file to get what I want.