Aaron and Shawn have addressed several points well. The core of the 
problem, I think, lies in that the .psd format is proprietary, closed, 
and can be changed at Adobe's whim, which makes GIMP compatibility a 
continuous game of reverse engineering and catching up. People who work 
with open source apps like Inkscape and GIMP tend to use the formats 
native for those (which Adobe is completely free to support, should they 
so choose.)

Perhaps a better approach would be to consider making individual 
component layers available as separate files - vector art in .svg for 
the Inkscape users and .ai for the Illustrator users; photos as .tif; 
bitmap art as .png; etc, perhaps also throwing in some "recipe" style 
tips (e.g. how to recreate a certain gradient effect, % of 
transparencies, etc.) That eliminates the .psd <-> .xcf problem, but 
pushes a bit of composition work off to the user. This also allows the 
user to chose vector- or bitmap-based tools on a case by case basis.


Kathy Allen wrote:
> Hi all,
> In a discussion back in June on this list, a few folks thought it would 
> be nice to be able to use GIMP to edit images rather than Photoshop. In 
> my research into GIMP, it appeared that saving a layered Photoshop image 
> as a PDF would allow GIMP to open the PDF as a layered file.
> It's not working and I can't figure out why. I have a two-layer psd, one 
> layer is a solid color, the other layer is some text. I save as a 
> Photoshop PDF, open with GIMP, and the layers are gone.
> Anyone have any ideas?
> Thanks!
> Kathy
> ____________________________________
> Kathy Allen
> Web Developer
> University Relations
> University of Minnesota
> 612-624-5808

Gabe Ormsby
Web & Database Developer

Office of the Senior Vice President for System Academic Administration
University of Minnesota Twin Cities