Gradle : Java Glossary

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Gradle

Gradle is a build tool for Java, like ANT (A Neat Tool) and Maven, that compiles what needs to be compiled and collects what needs to be collected into jars. The current version is 3.1 Last revised/verified: 2016-09-19

The big catch with tools like Gradle, Ivy and Maven is they are not concerned about deciding precisely which class files should go into a jar or even which packages should be included. They look at a bigger picture, namely which entire jars need to be present (or bundled in). They are more concerned with dealing with the complexities of not only getting the right jar, but the right version of the jar. They are for big projects not creating an optimally packed jar for an Applet.

Gradle’s build scripts are written in Groovy, not XML (extensible Markup Language) as in Maven. Groovy is a language similar to Python but with a more Java-esque syntax. It is a little bit like Smalltalk. Unlike ANT and Maven it uses a proper programming language, not XML (which you have to beat senseless to even implement an a IF). It has ANT-like targets/tasks with dependencies. Unlike ANT is it capable of figuring out which classes to put in a jar.

You must make sure slf4j-nop-1.7.2.jar is not on the classpath or in the ext directory, or Gradle will not even start. Gradle confuses it with its own logging jar.

Like ANT, Gradle use a complicated *.bat file to launch it. Here is a simplified version to help you understand what it is doing that is easier to troubleshoot:

From what I have read so far, it seems, like Maven and Ivy, Gradle does not do class dependency management, only jar dependency management. If even one class in a jar is need, the whole jar included in the distributed jar and also the contents of any jars any of those classes need. You tell it which jars depend on which. Therefore, the problem of dynamic loading of classes unknown at compile time does not come up. The advantage is simplicity. The disadvantage is your jars are bloated. The current thinking is bloat is not a problem except for Applets and Java Web Start.

Terminology

DSL (Domain Specific Language) is used to refer to their Gradle Build Language.

DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph). A more gnarled relative of the tree.

Rant

Tim Berglund and Matthew McCullough wrote the user guide. They are salesman. They love to tell you how brilliant and flexible their system is. They even show you how to update an SQL (Standard Query Language) database with it, but they don’t show you the meat and potatoes — how to compile, jar and prepare a zip distributable. They don’t talk at all about ensuring dynamically loaded classes get into the jar. They are far more interested in impressing you with how clever they are than helping you actually do a build. That sort of thing is too boring for them to mention. They are like magicians wanting you to be amazed and to applaud, not to understand what is actually happening. It looks good, but it needs a more mundane, pragmatic introduction get show you the very minimum you need to know to get jars and zips out the door. So far I have seen nothing about ability to handle any language but Java. So that means no JNI (Java Native Interface).

Books

You may have never heard of it, but there are six books about it published. Here are three of them:

book cover recommend book⇒Gradle in Actionto book home
by Benjamin Muschko 978-1-61729-130-2 paperback
publisher Manning Publications
published 2014-03-09
Also covers Migration from ANT and Maven.
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book cover recommend book⇒Gradle Beyond the Basicsto book home
by Tim Berglund 978-1-4493-0467-6 paperback
publisher O’Reilly recommended 978-1-4493-7382-5 eBook
published 2013-08-15 B00DZ4I8XE kindle
This is a more advanced book.
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Spanish flag iberlibro.com Chapters Indigo Canadian flag
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Italian flag abe books.it Barnes & Noble American flag
Italian flag amazon.it Nook at Barnes & Noble American flag
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Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.
book cover recommend book⇒Building and Testing with Gradleto book home
by Tim Berglund, Matthew McCullough 978-1-4493-0463-8 paperback
publisher O’Reilly recommended 978-1-4493-1309-8 eBook
published 2011-07-16 B005EI85J6 kindle
Introductory book. eBook available free in HTML form.
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German flag abe books.de amazon.co.uk UK flag
German flag amazon.de abe books.ca Canadian flag
Spanish flag amazon.es amazon.ca Canadian flag
Spanish flag iberlibro.com Chapters Indigo Canadian flag
French flag abe books.fr abe books.com American flag
French flag amazon.fr amazon.com American flag
Italian flag abe books.it Barnes & Noble American flag
Italian flag amazon.it Nook at Barnes & Noble American flag
India flag junglee.com Kobo American flag
UN flag other stores Google play American flag
O’Reilly Safari American flag
Powells American flag
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.

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