On the whole, this is a well-researched and well-written book, although the chapters on XPointer could do with more concrete examples of how XPointer could be used, and also more clarity in places. The chapters on XPath are good, but are marred by two things. Firstly, the level of uncertainty about the details of the impending XPath 2.0 specification. And secondly, the function reference is not as good as it could be. The material on nodes, node-sets, location steps, paths and axes is excellent. However, before buying this book, you would be advised to check that the information you need is not covered elsewhere. For example, if you're interested in XSLT, then the level of XPAth detail in 'XSLT' by Doug Tidwell is probably enough. Oddly, the function reference in Tidwell's book is superior to Simpson's.
Like reviewer "A reader", I've been working with this book for a couple of weeks now, but unlike that reviewer I can say I'm VERY happy with this book.
I needed some detailed explanations about XPath 1.0 as I'm using Vbscript & Microsoft's DOM implementation (Microsoft do not yet support XPath 2.0).. I've been through 5 other books & countless web pages seeking a proper understanding and some examples of what's possible, without much success.. until I read chapters 1 - 5 of this book (ch6 is XPath 2.0, the remainder is XPointer). Worth every penny!
I could not agree with the previous reviewer less.. the book is well written, has plenty of easy to follow examples, is very thorough, and definitely does NOT feel like a "calculated effort to rip off developers".
I as so glad I decided to ignore the reviews in this case and buy the book anyway.
I've been working with this book for a couple of weeks now and have to say that I am really disappointed. It's way too concept-heavy and there are nowhere near enough examples. The examples there are given are too general. Looking at how thin this book is makes me wonder whether its existence is a calculated effort to rip off developers interested in learning more about the subject. I could have learned all this book has to say about XPath and XPointer concepts from reading various tutorials on the web. The book has the feel of being slapped together quickly in an effort to rush it to market, which is a pity because it has lots of potential. The index in particular is extremely poor. I've lost count of how many times I've tried to look something up that I know I've read in the book but is not in the index. Simpson can write, but he has the unfortunate tendency to use absurd sentences like "Don't fret; there are more detailed examples aplenty throughout the rest of the book", which, besides being untrue, leaves one with the feeling being lectured by a cowboy. Save your money, I wish I had.