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Creating RPM spec files and maintaining those files can be a difficult chore. A number of tools and add-ons for text editors have sprung up to help make this less of a chore.
Users of the two most common Linux text editors, vi and emacs, can use add-ons that understand the RPM spec file syntax. These add-ons help reduce errors and, though the use of macros, can speed development of spec files by automating some of the tasks.
The RUST tool provides a graphical interface for creating spec files that can simplify a lot of the work normally required.
Once you’ve created an RPM package, you can use the rpmlint command to flag missing, incomplete, or incorrect elements in your RPMs.
Another tool, called rpm2cpio in its various incarnations, allows you to extract files from an RPM package by taking advantage of the fact that RPM files use the cpio format internally. The rpm2cpio tools can output RPM data into the cpio format directly; you can then pipe the output to the cpio command to extract.
After all this help in making RPMs and spec files, the next chapter covers a set of best-practice guidelines to help avoid problems when making your RPMs.