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Gradle upgrade builds Java apps faster for Android

Gradle, the build system of choice for Android mobile development, has been upgraded with better support for building Java applications.

Gradle 3.4 offers fast incremental results and “the end of dreaded compile classpath leakage,” said Cedric Champeau, a software engineer who has worked on developing the tool. Changes in the upgrade can dramatically improve build times, he said.

Classpath leakage refers to elements on the classpath of a library required for compiling sources leaking to the classpath of dependent libraries or applications. To halt this problem, a separation is introduced between the “api” and “implementation” configurations, so dependent projects only see the classpath from the api configuration; hence, only the libraries necessary to use the public-facing interfaces to the library see it. Implementation-specific external libraries would be on the “implementation” classpath and not visible to the dependent library’s compile classpath.

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