30 September 2016

Gradle is awsome

Gradle the build tool for Java and Android (and other languages) is really powerful.

I am brand new to gradle, this is the first time I try it, and I find it really powerful.

I am working - for fun - on some spring boot + angular project , I decided to go with gradle because I like Groovy (The language that grails is written as a DSL; however gradle is written in Java as well as groovy).

However Eclipse support is not as much good as Maven, but I started the spring boot using gradle as the build tool and every thing is fine.

Now I need to build the spring project as well as the angular project (which is based on angular-seed that uses npm and bower).

I find a plugin for gradle for this task (gradle-node-plugin), this plugin allow you to do:

gradle npm-install

so, the npm install command will run and that what I need, but I need it to run with gradle build command.

First the npm-install task of gradle run by default  package.js file found in src/main/java, So I have to write my own task to make it uses spring-boot conventions (src/main/resources/static)

And thanks to the author of this plugin, he makes it easily to extend his plugin, so I wrote:

task my_npm_install(type: NpmTask) {
description = "Installs dependencies from package.json"
workingDir = file("${project.projectDir}/src/main/resources/static")
args = ['install']
}

Here I am defining a new task (enhanced task), that is of type NpmTask (defined in gradle-node-plugin) then set some properties (defined by the parent task (NpmTask) ), so it can do the job.

so, now I can run: gradle my_npm_task and gradle now will run npm install against the correct package.json file.

What is remaining is to have the this task run after I run gradle build (the build task).

Thanks to the amazing tasks dependency feature provided by gradle, I can refer to some task (provided by java plugin - I think) and make it depends on another task (the one I wrote).

Like this: build.dependsOn(my_npm_install)

Then when I run gradle build, here's the output:

.....
......

So that, the build task will run my_npm_install: (here's the output of gradle build command):

:check
:nodeSetup SKIPPED
:my_npm_install
:build
.......
......

gradle run the my_npm_install task before the build task.

Again, gradle is much more powerful and flexible than maven, and have a better syntax as well.
 

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