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
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