an observation
With the advent of HTML, the wwweb took off at a ridiculous pace. Once developers tried to make use of the wwweb they developed gobs and gobs of creative and overly complex systems designed to generate HTML dynamically. Why? Because HTML combines the acts of storing and displaying data in a single blow. Why is this bad? Because data changes, and the way you want to display that data changes. There is no reason why you should need to take the display into account when you are changing the data. (and vice versa)

Along comes XML and XSL. XML is designed as a language that stores data in structures that represent the relationships between those data. XSL is designed as a means of defining a way to display data stored in XML. Now developers can modify the display or modify the data, but they aren't obligated to worry about both at the same time.

In essence, XML and XSL are the cure for the plague introduced through HTML.