Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Why Build Your Java Projects with Gradle Rather than Ant or Maven?

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The default build tool for Android new star of build tools on the JVM is designed to ease scripting of complex, multi-language builds. Should you change to it, though, if you're using Ant or Maven?

For years, builds had the simple requirements of compiling and packaging software. But the landscape of modern software development has changed, and so have the needs for build automation. Today, projects involve large and diverse software stacks, incorporate multiple programming languages, and apply a broad spectrum of testing strategies. With the rise of agile practices, builds must support early integration of code as well as frequent and easy delivery to both test and production environments.

Established build tools regularly fall short in meeting these goals. How many times have your eyes glazed over while looking at XML to figure out how a build works? And why can't it be easier to add custom logic to your build? All too often, when adding on to a build script, you can't shake the feeling that you're implementing a workaround or hack. I feel your pain. There has to be a better way of doing these things in an expressive and maintainable way. There is — it's called Gradle.

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