I'm new to website publishing and have no prior knowledge of either one of them.
I have been browsing the web alot on the subject but can't find a conclusive statement.
XSL works together with XML as an integrated unit.
CSS seems more easy and effective but can't transform xml into html.
Any comments?
CSS is a more useful tool in today's world.

XSL relies on good, advanced XML support (and many browsers still have horrible HTML support).

I'd stick to the XHTML/CSS combo for now.
thnaks. I was thingking after picking up xml and css to do Java. Do you know how the Java2 for Dummies is on beginners? Do people really learn from the book or just get the theory explained?
As I understand it you can do the entire website with Java and won't have no need anymore for cgi asp and the like. Of how many parts (extensions) does Java exist?
One thing to keep in mind on the CSS/XSL thing is that even when you are using XSL to transform your documents you still should use CSS to control the presentation.
That's my answer right there :)
Use both and as little as possible of xsl.
As I am still starting: how many lines of xsl would I need in such a scenario ?
You want to make a whole site in Java?
I hope you're referring to Java Server Pages (JSP), rather than some sort of bastardised version of the infamous all-Flash pages which everyone hates using Java Applets.

Personally, I find that online developer resources are enough to get you started with web development (they provide working examples which books don't).

If you want to learn useful languages for web scripting, look at PHP first (it's compatible with every major server software, unlike JSP or ASP). Code-wise, it's similar to C++ (in my opinion).

As for markup, learn XHTML and it'll force you to use proper conventions of code which will make your sites more obvious and well-organised.

For presentation, look at CSS and learn everything you can.

For light scripting (as in, not a huge problem if people have it switched off), learn a little bit of JavaScript (which is more like C++ than Java).