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Why doesn't dpkg link against gettext on Debian?

Hey all,

I'm facing a problem on a project using dpkg. I'm talking about Fink, a
project that ports Unix programs to Mac OS X. They use dpkg for their
package management (albeit only for installing - the fink binary does
all the building, without debhelper, dpkg or anything).

The problem I'm facing is this. Our version of dpkg requires gettext.
Currently, the package builds gettext along with itself, so it can be
"built from scratch", I'm trying to change that to let it build against
the gettext already in Fink, and have a dpkg-bootstrap package that
builds with --without-nls. The version of dpkg we package is 1.10.21.

Someone in the communities recommended me that it would be easier to
implement if I could see how the Debian project fixes this bootstrapping
problem. When I took a look, I saw gettext is barely mentioned in the
control and rules files for sid's dpkg... No build-depends on the tools,
no depends on the runtime. On my Ubuntu installation, which I guess
should be most similar to Debian in this aspect, ldd tells me dpkg does
not link against gettext dynamically, too.

So I have two groups of questions:
1) Why can't I find any trace of gettext in dpkg's rules files? Has
anything changed regarding this since 1.10.21? Etc.

2) How do you solve the problem of being able to build dpkg from
scratch? I think I read somewhere you now and then do a complete rebuild
of the archive before a release. Where does that start? Do you start
with a dpkg binary anyway? If you need to bootstrap Debian without any
binaries but with a working compiler etc, is that possible, and how did
you design your bootstrap process, knowing dpkg requires some
dependencies to be already available?

Thanks a lot for any replies,

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