That was my take, too — that the bindings and whatnot should be abstracted into about 8 different packages.
Still, I guess that is a distro problem.
But no, it won’t require avahi. At some point, I hope that the only mDNS server out there is avahi, and then everything will be easier. Until then, it will support dns_sd.h (via apple, or Howl 2.0), Howl 1.0, or Avahi.
That’s the goal, anyway. Getting that patch integrated is next on my list, after finding the stupid race that keeps killing the server.