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Gradle Effective Implementation Guide: Book Review and Giveaway

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Until recently, Ant has been my build system of choice: functional, proven and, it just works. So, I was intrigued to see what Gradle could provide instead. So when Hubert Klein Ikkink , one of DZone's leading MVBs on Groovy, gave me the chance to review his Gradle Effective Implementation Guide , I could hardly refuse. 

The book begins with a really good introduction into what Gradle actually is. Useful for Gradle newbies like me, but most people can probably afford to skip it.  The book then goes through the main things you'll want to do in your Gradle build scripts; using tasks and dealing with files and directories; before showing how easy it is to use Gradle for your Java projects. Later on the book illustrates how you can use the Scala or Groovy plugins to build projects for those languages, and how to build multiple projects that are dependent on each other. 

I found the chapter on writing custom tasks and plugins to be particularly useful. Most importantly, the author explains how you can write tests for your custom plugins to ensure they work as expected. As you'd expect, Gradle has good IDE and continuous integration support, all of which is explained in the last chapters.

The book will probably appeal more to people who are new to Gradle. I found the explanations to be be really detailed and useful. Whether I'll use Gradle for my next project, I'm not sure - but it certainly is tempting 

For a chance to win one of three electronic copies of Gradle Effective Implementation Guide just leave a comment letting us know why you want/need the book.


Robert Diana replied on Fri, 2013/03/01 - 7:34am

I just went through a conversion of Ant scripts to Gradle. There were two pieces that I would love to fix, and the book could probably help significantly. The first was an ant task that would not run in Gradle but would run when using our normal ant distribution. The second is an installer build script which collects several components to build an installation directory structure, which I am assuming can be done better as well.

Ted Young replied on Fri, 2013/03/01 - 4:50pm

I'm investigating converting some Maven projects, along with parts done with custom ant scripts, to Gradle and having difficulty with Gradle's dependency concepts, so this book would hopefully help.

Rodney J. Woodruff replied on Sat, 2013/03/02 - 11:52am

I have a team of developers and we are in the process of migrating from .NET to java because we have bought a java based ecomnerce platform. In my previous role at Gucci, my team used Ruby on Rails and thus capistrano to handle builds.  I am very comfortable with the way capistrano works and it appears that Gradle will bring the same level of productivity. We also intend on using Spock for unit testing because of its similarity to Rspec/Cucumber.  The book will help ease the implementation of Gradle for our team. So, please, can I have one? :)

[EDIT:] fixed grammar and spelling. First version was written on my S3 at 2:30 AM while I was resolving a SAN outage with my hosting provider :)

Alejandro Dobniewski replied on Tue, 2013/03/05 - 9:44am

Our older applications use ant for building. They don't adapt well for migration to Maven (used in newer apps) because they don't follow the Maven convention and are hard to adapt. Gradle is a much better fit for migration because of its flexbility and ant support. I had a hard time migrating one such build from ant to gradle because the documentation was somewhat lacking in details.

Tom Jordan replied on Wed, 2013/03/06 - 6:14pm

I have recently moved some projects over to using Gradle.  However, some of the more customized things the old build systems performed will need  custom plugin.  Your mention of how the author explains how to write a custom plugin sounds useful to me.

James Sugrue replied on Sun, 2013/03/17 - 10:27am

This giveaway is now closed. I'll notify the winners in the next couple of days.


Rodney J. Woodruff replied on Tue, 2013/04/09 - 9:25am in response to: James Sugrue

Hi James,

I hope all is well. I have tried pinging you via email. Please let me know if you need anything from me. 


-- Rodney

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