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dpkg format documentation

Where is documentation about the dpkg format? I'm looking for information
about the data format of .deb files as well as the formats and usages of
the various files in the architecture. I have tried parsing the sources of
dpkg and lintian, but the former is rather confusing, since I didn't write
it, and especially because I have a very unusual style of code-writing)
and the latter is not in my language.

In particular, what references do the developers use? (Since Debian is
GPL'ed, I assume it's not secret.) I hope they don't just keep it in their
memory, because that can unfortunately lead to severe disorganization in
certain circumstances.

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