Gradle is so powerful!

This is the comment after I read the tutorial of Gradle.

Gradle configuration

There’re mainly 3 configuration files:

  • build.gradle: this is where you write your gradle script. Gradle script is written using Groovy.
  • you set some variables that can be used in your script
  • gradle.setting: like settings

Gradle terms

  • project: an abstraction of a build. you can use multiple projects.
  • task: this is like the target in Ant.

Simple use example

group 'gradle'
version '1.0-SNAPSHOT'

apply plugin: 'java'

sourceCompatibility = 1.5

repositories {

dependencies {
    testCompile group: 'junit', name: 'junit', version: '4.11'

task hello {
    group = "mypersonal"
    description = "this is a helloworld task"

hello << {
    print name


  • group and version represent the group and version of the build distribution.
  • apply plugin: 'java' means you use java plugin.
  • repositories and dependencies sections are for dependency management. Here we use the Maven's repository.
  • task method defines my own task named hello, and I set its properties: group and description. The following line we use << operator to add the closure to the end of action list. It’s equivalent to doLast. Of course, there’s also a method named doFirst. You can add new closure as an action to the list.

That’s it. Easy, isn’t it?


Gradle use plugin mechanism to extend its build model. If you don’t use plugins, you cannot do somethings which really make sense.

Some commonly-used plugins are:

  • java: java related build. Generate a JAR at last.
  • war: obviously this is for packaging a webapp.

Actually, these plugins provide all sorts of tasks which are related to some goals.

If you don’t use any plugin at all, you can still use some common tasks:

Build Setup tasks
init - Initializes a new Gradle build. [incubating]
wrapper - Generates Gradle wrapper files. [incubating]

Help tasks
components - Displays the components produced by root project ''. [incubating]
dependencies - Displays all dependencies declared in root project ''.
dependencyInsight - Displays the insight into a specific dependency in root project 'Richard'.
help - Displays a help message.
model - Displays the configuration model of root project ''. [incubating]
projects - Displays the sub-projects of root project ''.
properties - Displays the properties of root project ''.
tasks - Displays the tasks runnable from root project ''.