Welcome to the January 2024 Gradle Build Tool newsletter!
On behalf of the Gradle community, we wish you a Happy New Year! Last year was great for Gradle Build Tool, with many new features and initiatives being released. Stay tuned for the upcoming release of Gradle 8.6!
From the Community
- Creation and Usage of BOM in Gradle by Ivan Vakhrushev
- It’s Time to Fix Flaky Tests in Software Development by Trisha Gee
- One Bite at a Time on remote caching and the importance of buffering I/O operations by Aurimas Liutikas
- Keep Your Kotlin Code Spotless: A Guide to ktlint and ktfmt Linters with Gradle by Rock and Null
- Android - Scalable Dependency Management with Version Catalogs by Armando Picón
- Running Gradle Tests in Kubernetes with Testkube by Alejanda Thomas
- Build a Custom Gradle Plugin as an Independent Project guide by Tezov (behind a paywall)
Plugins and Integrations
- Gradle Asciidoctor Plugin 4.0.0 release (changelog)
- Dependency Graph Plugin 1.28.0 with support for configuration cache (changelog)
- GitHub Action for Gradle gets initial support for configuration cache in the 3.0 release, now available as beta (changelog)
- WireMock, a popular developer tool for API mocking and integration testing, got a Gradle convention plugin for extensions development (plugin repository)
From the Gradle Team
2023 in Review
Gradle Build Tool had six feature-packed releases last year, starting with the major 8.0 release. This was a year of big improvements in scalability and usability, with configuration cache and Kotlin DSL being the highlights.
Configuration cache significantly improves build performance by caching the result of the configuration phase and reusing this for subsequent builds. Configuration cache received substantial improvements and was promoted to stable in Grade 8.1.
Kotlin DSL provides an enhanced editing experience in supported IDEs through superior content assistance, refactoring documentation, and more. After receiving substantial improvements, Kotlin DSL became the new default for new Gradle projects in the init task, Android Studio, and IntelliJ IDEA.
For Develocity, formerly known as Gradle Enterprise, the past year marked a period of significant product evolution, the establishment of new partnerships, achievements in awards, and trailblazing the practice of Developer Productivity Engineering. See this blog post for the full list of Develocity updates: Develocity Year-in-Review 2023.
Gradle 8.6 Is Coming Soon!
We’re working on finishing the last bits for the 8.6 release, which we expect to ship soon. This release will feature support for custom encryption keys for the configuration cache, improvements to the build init task, improvements to build authoring, and more helpful error and warning messages.
See the 8.6 RC-2 Release Notes for the list of the upcoming features and upgrade guidelines. If you’re interested, you can try out the latest release candidate. Any feedback will be appreciated!
Internship Program Updates
Last summer, our engineers mentored early-career technologists in two summer programs.
We were especially excited to participate in the first Google Summer of Code. The goal of this project was very ambitious — to deliver Kotlin DSL support in our official Eclipse plugin, Buildship. Our contributor, Nikolai Vladimirov, successfully delivered experimental support, including syntax highlighting, content assistance, and more for Kotlin scripts. Read about this project in the Kotlin Foundation blog post.
Early last year, we also sponsored two Major League Hacking interns who improved documentation and made various improvements in Gradle Build Tool, including better error handling for the project. See the blog post for details.
New Developer Advocate
We are thrilled to announce that Oleg Nenashev recently joined us as the new Gradle Build Tool developer advocate and community manager.
Oleg is an open-source community builder at heart. He brings significant expertise in developer tooling and automation with experience from projects and foundations like Jenkins, CNCF, Testcontainers, and WireMock. Oleg will focus on community outreach, contributor experience, and reinvigorating existing community programs like the Gradle Fellowship.
This year, we’ll continue to focus on our major strategic objective: improving scalability and usability.
We plan to enable the Configuration Cache by default in the Gradle 9.0 release in Q3 or Q4. Another key initiative in scalability is Isolated Projects, which we plan to share with early adopters soon and make stable later this year. Thanks to Isolated Projects, the configuration phase will run in parallel and incrementally, further speeding up builds and IDE sync.
Declarative Gradle remains a top priority as a key strategic objective for delivering on our vision of an elegant and extensible declarative build language that allows developers to describe any kind of software in a clear and understandable way. We plan to share an initial solution for simple Android projects with early adopters in the upcoming months.
Check out the Gradle Build Tool public roadmap to learn more about what’s planned for the next releases!
Meet the Gradle Team, the Gradle Build Tool maintainers, and community leaders at the following events:
- January 19, Community Event - Voxxed Days Ticino Come hear from Gradle’s newest Developer Advocate, Oleg Nenashev on experiences building public roadmaps in open source communities, including Gradle
- January 31, DPE Lowdown - Scaling DPE deployments with OpenRewrite and Develocity
- February 1,, Community Event - CHAOSScon EU 2024
- February 2, Community Event - Jenkins Contributor Summit. Gradle’s Oleg Nenashev to speak on the “State of Jenkinsfile Runner”
- February 3-4 Community Event - FOSDEM. Get a live Gradle demo from Gradle’s newest Developer Advocate, Oleg Nenashev
- February 5-7, Community Event - Config Management Event. Gradle’s Oleg Nenashev to speak on “Mocks as Code: Modeling Services in ConfigManagement flow integrations test”
- February 5-7, Community Event - Jfokus. Gradle Build Tool Lead Software Engineer Louis Jacomet will speak on “The Road to Gradle 9”
Have the Gradlest New Year ever!
Many Gradle users and contributors will be celebrating the Lunar New Year on February 10th. This is our last newsletter before then, so for those who celebrate, we wish you a great holiday!