Hans Dockter and Xavier Ducrohet take us on an in-depth tour of Gradle, the build system designed to elegantly deal with the diversity of the Android ecosystem and meet the demands of modern development practices, in a presentation of its core concepts and exciting new features!
Motivations behind Gradle
"When you look at Android, it’s a very complex build system, and it may not look like it, but we have a lot of languages,” says Xavier, introducing the talk at AnDevCon by describing the motivations and factors behind the development decisions for this build system. He mentions Java, native code, Renderscript, among other languages, as variables that must be accounted for.
"It should all feel like native, built-in support… and not a big giant hack!"
This talk highlights the exciting ways that Gradle will be apart of Android's future, with the conversation directed entirely at you, the developer. Xavier explains that their goal in Gradle was to create an ecosystem where developers had total control, could make all of the modifications that they wanted, and were able to add the new features that were never accounted for (or even imagined!) in the early days of Android.
He adds, “We had to create something flexible. […] So even things that seem like a crazy edge case, we have to support it, because we have to support all of you."