Gradle Dependency Management With BuildSrc and Kotlin DSL

Gradle Dependency Management With BuildSrc and Kotlin DSL

A great way to implement dependencies in multi-module projects

Takeaway From the Article

Mainly it focuses on building a Gradle dependency management system using the buildSrc directory and Kotlin DSL scripts. You’ll also learn the advantages of doing this over using conventional Groovy code.

If you prefer to watch this blog as a video, a YouTube video is embedded at the end of this article.

Problem

It’s a well-known fact that maintaining dependencies in a rapidly growing project is a tedious job. Traditional Groovy scripts, without code navigation, autocomplete, performance issues, and runtime errors, make it even worse.

Most importantly, the vast majority of android developers won’t have an idea of what they’re writing while they use Groovy. Even I didn’t know what was doing when using Groovy in the early stages of my career.

Thanks to the Gradle team and community working to provide a smooth and safe build process. One of the best solutions they've come up with is using the buildSrc directory with Kotlin DSL scripts.

Solution

Library implementations and custom tasks shouldn’t live in build scripts. They should be declared in a separate file to be used in build scripts. At the early stages of this implementation, developers used to create a Gradle file to declare all the libraries and use them in build scripts.

Indeed, this solved the problem to some extent. You can read about it in this article. But that quick solution didn’t solve problems like autocomplete and code navigation, which makes it an unreliable solution in the long run. In the wake of this failure, buildSrc seems to be a promising solution.

The directory buildSrc is treated as an included build. Upon discovery of the directory, Gradle automatically compiles and tests this code and puts it in the classpath of your build script. There can be only one buildSrc directory for multi-project builds, which has to sit in the root project directory. buildSrc should be preferred over script plugins as it is easier to maintain, refactor, and test the code.

-Gradle Team

Using buildSrc and Kotlin DSL scripts not only solved the problems in the build scripts but also came up with enhanced IDE support, code navigation, compile-time errors, and more. Most importantly, we no longer need to use Groovy any longer.

gradle kotlin

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