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Building and Testing with Gradle 1st Edition

2.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1449304638
ISBN-10: 144930463X
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Understanding Next-Generation Builds

About the Author

Tim is a full-stack generalist and passionate teacher who loves coding, presenting, and working with people. He is founder and principal software developer at the August Technology Group, a technology consulting firm focused on the JVM. He is a speaker internationally and on the No Fluff Just Stuff tour in the United States, co-presenter of the best-selling O'Reilly Git Master Class, and is co-president of the Denver Open Source User Group. He has recently been exploring build automation, non-relational data stores, and abstract ideas like how to make software architecture look more like an ant colony. He lives in Littleton, CO with the wife of his youth and their three children.

Matthew McCullough is an energetic 15-year veteran of enterprise software development, world-traveling open source educator, and co-founder of Ambient Ideas, LLC, a US consultancy. Matthew currently is a trainer for Gradleware, educator for GitHub.com, author of the Git Master Class series for O'Reilly, speaker on the No Fluff Just Stuff tour, author of three of the top 10 DZone RefCards, including the Git RefCard, and President of the Denver Open Source Users Group.

His current topics of research center around project automation, including: build tools (Gradle, Leiningen, Maven, Ant), distributed version control (Git, Mercurial), testing frameworks (Geb, Spock, JUnit, TestNG, Mockito), continuous integration (Jenkins, Hudson, Bamboo) and code quality metrics (Sonar, CodeNarc, PMD).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 116 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (July 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144930463X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449304638
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,459,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John Burbridge on September 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book's synopsis is true to its contents. It does not over-promise and delivers exactly what it says it will. If you've never used Gradle before, this book will teach you the basics of building and testing.

I would recommend this book only to individuals who don't have any prior Ant / Maven / Gradle experience and prefer reading a book than reading the on-line documentation. For everyone else I'd recommend reading the on-line documentation thoroughly, downloading Gradle and becoming familiar with the samples that are packaged with the standard distribution.

In my case, I had already been using Gradle for a couple of months and had a solid understanding of the basics, so I was a bit disappointed to find most of my intermediate / advanced questions were not addressed. Gradle is capable of offering a lot more than building and testing but there's virtually nothing in this book addressing topics like configuration, deployment or integration testing.

I was also surprised to find that there's virtually no coverage of some of the more popular plug-ins such as war, ear, jetty, tomcat, cobertura, etc. The only plug-in that is covered extensively is the Maven plug-in - there's an entire chapter devoted to it. The testing chapter covers junit, testng, spock, easyb and geb -- albeit very very basic information is provided.

In short, chances are that if you're looking for a Gradle book you already know a the basics. You've done a little research and compared it to Ant, Maven and Buildr. You're past the hello world examples and are looking for something with a bit more depth. And if that's your case, then you're like me and will probably not benefit much from this book.
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As others have written, this book doesn't approach the complexity of building software projects and competently building such projects is largely about managing complexity. While it may not be fair to judge the book for its simplistic treatment of the topic (after all it is *really short* and meant to be a sort of introductory volume), it is a tremendous shortcoming. For people with some passing familiarity with Gradle but who want to study it in-depth and apply it to real-world problems, this book doesn't provide much assistance.

But even as an introductory volume the book falls short: it assumes the reader has familiarity with current build tools (Maven and Ant with Ivy) and knows how to use them. For the reader who does meet these criteria, Gradle's own online documentation provides much more useful information about getting started than this book does. For the reader who has very little previous build tool experience, the book assumes too much to be useful. In this way it fails to provide a proper introduction to Gradle and should probably be avoided.
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Format: Paperback
The only book out there on Gradle, and it is relatively new published July 2011. At 110 pages it is rather short, and doesn't cover everything about Gradle - it's not a 'Complete guide to Gradle', but the 6 chapters does cover the basics in the obvious ways:

Hello, Gradle!
Gradle Tasks
Ant and Gradle
Maven and Gradle
Testing with Gradle
Multiproject Builds

The book does provide pointers for migrating from e.g. Maven to Gradle. As I'm not intimately familiar with neither Maven nor Gradle, I can't really say if it is sufficient to jump from Ant directly into Gradle, or if a quick pit-stop in the Maven (3?) camp is beneficial.

There are a few kind of typos in the book, e.g. Example 1-5 the src directory seems to be a subdirectory of the build.gradle file, this is fixed in Example 1-6 though.

There's also a minor issue with the doFirst() method - I'd suggest saying that this would prepend or prefix the closure to the existing block as opposed to saying appending to the beginning.

The book is more concise and better organized than the Gradle user guide which seems to do a halfbaked description, then referring to a later chapter.

Running some modified examples from the book - not from the github repository - I experienced a rather detrimental blow up when applying the plugins for Scala and Groovy. The compiler dependencies need to be added to the build file.

Being the only book on the subject it's sad that it's not a Complete Guide, but it does fulfill what the title promises, it's just not enough. An okay read though.
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As with the other reviewers I was happy to finally see a book on Gradle but was underwhelmed by the content. This is a good book for beginners and I have recommended it to my friends at work. Am looking forward to a more comprehensive 'Complete Guide to ...' book in the future. My advice to those interested in learning Gradle -- jump right in and do a simple project. You're going to be impressed by how much you can do in so little time. You will also be impressed how the Gradle build system gets out of the way and works with the developer. Learn the difference between the configuration phase and the execution phase and you'll have no trouble writing tasks.
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Format: Paperback
Example 1.1 runs.

Example 1.2 doesn't run.

Examples 1.3 and 1.4 don't say what to call the files, or where to put them. Maybe examples 1.3 and 1.4 are the same file? I have no idea. Examples 1.5 and 1.6 show a Gradle directory structure with about 30 directories and files, and there's no indication where examples 1.3 and 1.4 fit into this directory structure.

Example 1.7 has good advice: "If you want to get started now, you should also check out the online documentation."

If you want to get started with Gradle, read the online documentation. Don't read this book.

Maybe chapters 2 thru 6 are better. I don't know, I couldn't get through chapter 1.
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