You can use a browser such as the Microsoft Internet Explorer, version 5 or later, to display raw XML documents directly. For example, if I saved the XML document we just created in a document named greeting.xml, and opened that document in the Internet Explorer, youd see something like Figure 1.1.
You can see the complete XML document in Figure 1.1. Theres no particular formatting at all; the XML document appears in the Internet Explorer just as it does when you might print it out on a printer. (In fact, the Internet Explorer default stylesheet for XML documents was used for the screen shown in Figure 1.1. The stylesheet converts XML into Dynamic HTML, which the Internet Explorer knows how to use.) But what if you want to present the data in a different way? For example, what if you want to present the data in planets.xml in an HTML document as an HTML table?
This is where XSLT transformations enter the picture. Well take a look at them first in this chapter. At the end of this chapter, well take a look at the other side of XSL, XSL-FO.