This post is part of my Data For The Ages Category, where I outline my strategy for making sure the data I use has some guarantee of surviving my current platform.
Untitled.vpdoc --+-- sk.index (probably a keyword index for Spotlight) | +-- store.vpsqlite (the SQLite database, with inter-page | linking, modification dates, document-specific settings, | UUID-to-page name mappings, etc.) | +-- pages (a sub-folder containing all the pages in serialized RTFD format, with UUIDs for filenames)
Since I use the Lite version this is kind of a side-step for me (not forward, not backwards, just different and noteworthy). Although it is somewhat of an improvement over the old encoded-RTF-in-XML format, it still has a few issues where it regards portability.
And yes, yes, I know that the full versions will export to RTF and HTML. That is not the point - I have no need whatsoever for the extra features, I just like to know how I can get my data back if I decide to move away from VoodooPad, or even the Mac.
Since the files in pages are RTF-based, I can convert them manually to other formats using unrtf, rtfdtohtml and a few other options (there are plenty of Mac OS X tools to deal with RTF, but I'm sticking to UNIX tools because I know those will be usable on any platform).
Counter-intuitively, just renaming the UUID-named files to .rtfd and trying TextEdit doesn't work, but that's just because they are serialized Cocoa rich text data. You see, the real .rtfd format is also a data bundle - a folder containing a TXT.rtf file and associated images, with the images being referenced via the \NeXTGraphic primitive inside the RTF file.
The real hassle with the new format comes when you try to store a .vpdoc file in .Mac's iDisk and share it between a couple of Macs. In the old format, editing a page changed the whole XML file, which was then uploaded (whole) to my iDisk. Easy to sync, nasty for very large documents.
Now, editing a page changes the file under pages, the Spotlight index and (occasionally) the SQLite database - especially if you add new links or do something that changes the document preferences. Much better for very large documents, but trickier to sync.
Disaster waiting to happen
Oh yeah, data loss. If the SQLite database gets synced correctly, your page is listed on VoodooPad but is empty. If the page itself is synced correctly but the database isn't, the RTFD page is there but the database doesn't know the first thing about it.
Gus isn't to blame for this (Apple's slow-as-molasses iDisk is), but I've now got both kinds of data loss on my "Home Pad", so beware - you should be fine (and enjoy a massive performance increase) if you use VoodooPad locally or through LAN file sharing, but using it on your iDisk isn't recommended - again, solely due to Apple's faults.
Regarding VoodooPad's new data format, I'd give it 4 out of 5 regarding balancing Mac-specific features and portability - i.e., it's easy enough to recover most of my data (in the sense that I can either upgrade to a version that exports it or roll my own exporter), and it leverages Mac OS X's built-in features in a sensible way.