Dreamweaver 8 provides two methods for converting XML files into Web browser–friendly pages: server-side and client-side approaches. With the server-side approach (discussed on Section 24.4), all the XML-related files are read on the application server and processed by a program Dreamweaver creates. The result—regular HTML—is spit back across the Internet to a visitor's Web browser. The client-side approach is very different: the transformation of the XML file happens directly within a visitor's Web browser (which is known as the "client"). Most modern browsers—like Internet Explorer 6, Safari, and Firefox—can actually read XML and XSL files (that's the file containing the XSLT style sheet), apply the XSLT instructions, and then generate a display that looks just like a Web page. You'll learn about this approach next.
XSL files hold the XSLT and XPath code that transform XML into another format like HTML.
Presenting XML using a client-side approach requires two files—the XML file and an XSLT style sheet. The XSLT style sheet is created in Dreamweaver very much like you'd create a Web page. In fact, when working in Design view, you won't really notice any difference between creating XSLT and creating a regular HTML Web page; you can add design elements like logos and other graphics, use table-based or CSS-based layout techniques, and even format the XML content much like you'd format dynamic text from a recordset (see Section 21.2.1).