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dpkg development and gettext

First, I'm planning to work on a dpkg over the next week, to
clean up a number of little things---like debian-changelog.el going
away---and hopefully try to close some bug reports.  Where .20 was a
quick-and-dirty release to get rid of the --force-overwrites default
so we could start cleaning that up, I intend for .21 to be a version
that'll be useable until the release after hamm, so if you have any
patches that aren't in the bug system, please get them there asap.

One of the things that came up after I did .20 that I would like to
discuss further is dpkg's current dependence on GNU gettext.  Even
though it appears on ftp.gnu.org and several packages, including dpkg
and Gnome, use and/or depend on it, apparently the author doesn't feel
it should be in release, and thus it sits in experimental.

Now what I'd like to know is whether anyone knows of an easy recipe
for making gettext support in dpkg optional---I'm really uncomfortable
with the build of our primary tool being dependent on a package that
we won't even officially release, but I'd rather not rip the gettext
support out entirely unless there's no chance of it ever going gold.

Opinions?  Code?

Michael Alan Dorman               |     E-Mail: mdorman@law.miami.edu
Network Administrator             |             Phone: (305) 284-2463
University of Miami School of Law |               Fax: (305) 284-3753

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