Mastering XPages v2 – Review

In this article I will put forth my case as to why you need to buy Mastering XPages v2 – even if you already own v1


Maybe this book should be entitled – “So you think your an XPages expert? You are not a Master !”

Clearly I am not a Master – and couldn’t possibly hope to be one and that is why *I* need this book…..

The writing style

Perhaps not the most obvious place to start but to me a significant one. There are many styles of writing for technical publications; from the utterly droll and boring to the comical and often patronizing. What I really enjoyed about reading the book was the almost irreverent conversational manner in which it comes across. If you have met Tony or Martin you will be able to hear their voices as they are talking to you about it in the Connect Developer lounge. A couple of examples are:

Thankfully, there are a couple of ways to compute the client ID”  


“The egregious offender is the column value computation” .

I am normally a visual learner and reading books is hard for me – but this style appeals to me. That helped a lot. Frankly 1100 pages (even skimmed in places) is a tall order for any man/woman (even Brad).

The content

Well here’s the thing – I have owned the v1 book for about 2 days longer than I have been programming XPages and I admit I never read the whole thing. As I am reading through the v2 book I am finding lots of cool stuff I didn’t know and I sneak a peak over at the v1 book and “OOOO there is it” – Like the XSP style guide for example – “oo I didn’t know that” !

There were too many “ooo I didn’t know that” moments for my ego but at the same time that also reflects what a massive, flexible tool which has been created. All credit to the boys for have the staying power to write this book. If you are a novice, expert or XPages god there is something to learn from this book.

There is no way anyone could possibly remember every property of every control and what it does. Simply put, if you use XPages and even if you own Mastering XPages v1, this book is an excellent reference manual and will help you learn more.

The new stuff

So the new book has been updated from 8.5.2 to 9.0.1 and with it that means a significant amount of new XPages capabilities. Another 400 pages give or take !

  • Updating everything for 9.0.1
    • New controls
    • New control properties
  • Chapter 14 XPages Mobile Application Development
    • This is really Paul DN’s realm and I am not really a fan of Dojo Mobile but this whole section does a great job of explaining all the ins and out of what you can do to build an XPages mobile app very easily.
    • There is even a shout out for which is fantastic
  • Chapter 15 XPages Unplugged and Debugged
    • An entire section on how to debug your applications using various client side and server side techniques
    • Using the Java Debugger
    • Using Firebug Lite
    • Using the SSJ Debugger
  • Chapter 20 Advanced Performance Techniques
    • XPages Toolbox setup and explanation of how to use it effectively
  • And these performance things popping up all over the book
    • Single Copy XPage Design (SCXD)
    • PreLoad
    • XPages RunOnServer
    • Runtime optimized JavaScript and CSS
  • And much, much more – I am still learning !


What can I say other than “wow”. Being a community blogger/contributor, an R9 certified developer, and  so called “expert” is nothing compared to being an XPages *Master*. There is no way you can possibly hope to remember everything this book has to offer – which immediately makes it a very valuable reference book.

What you can hope to achieve is an understanding of what is possible, so that down the line when you are trying to address problems with your application you can at least know there are options and where you can find them.

If you are a serious XPages developer you cannot really be without this book.



6 thoughts on “Mastering XPages v2 – Review

  1. Mark, good review. Agree completely on the writing style and the resulting easy read. When I received my copy I went right to Chapter 14 to review the Mobile controls coverage. Liked what I read there and saw a couple of areas for update in our Mobile XPages course. Haven’t had much time to review the other sections.

  2. I do believe it’s a great book and reference for people who know XPages already. I bought this book a year ago knowing nothing about XPages and I really tried to read it many times, but I was lost after 3 chapters. Now after some experience with XPages, I really appreciate the book, but it’s not for beginners.

    And I do appreciate the writing style, too.

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