I don't know if it's really a feasible solution, or what people had in mind, but
I had a quick-hack into what might be "udebootstrap", IMO.
This application takes in a predetermined directory filled with udebs and debs,
and extract them using tar, ar, and zcat.
What I was thinking was to make something mount the CD-Rom, or another floppy,
and to populate a chroot (possibly a tmpfs) with debian-installer and it goes off running,
so that we can be free from the restrictions imposed by the floppy disk space, and
actually get something for i18n, and other stuff.
But I've only just started playing with this idea ...
and it occurred to me that it could actually be possible to "debootstrap"
udebs as well.