In my previous post about my Android Gradle Learnings, I mentioned some ways to create Gradle tasks which are dependent on other dynamically created Android build tasks (such as lint and some build/flavor variants such as debug or release). Since writing that, I’ve discovered an arguably easier way to accomplish this.

Some Context

Let me set up the situation.

Let’s say I have a project with 2 Android modules, :app and :lib. The module :lib is a typical Android module. In :app, I have flavor1 and flavor2 build flavors.

:app’s build.gradle file

android {
  // lots omitted
  productFlavors {
    flavor1 { /* stuff ommitted */ }
    flavor2 { /* stuff ommitted */ }

As a result of this, when I run gradle tasks I see connectedDebugAndroidTest task (from :lib) and both connectedflavor1DebugAndroidTest and connectedflavor2DebugAndroidTest tasks (from :app). The same goes for other checks such as unittest and lint.

My goal was to run all of these tasks with a single gradle command except for the flavor2 tasks (long story… irrelevant as to why). If I was just wanting to run all of them, this would be a simpler task.

Creating a task dependent on generated tasks

One option is to do the following:

task allTheChecks(type: GradleBuild) {
    tasks = [
            'connectedflavor1DebugAndroidTest', // starting here, handle flavor1
            'connectedDebugAndroidTest', // starting here, handles all :lib

This does the trick, but you could argue it’s not the best way since it’s not transparent to the user what tasks are involved. If you run the task gradle allTheChecks -m (this does a “dry run” so to speak of the gradle task), it doesn’t output all of the tasks that this allTheChecks task contains. It’s viewed as a standalone task. This isn’t super transparent.

After some asking around, it turns out there’s a “Lazy dependsOn” feature of Gradle (see Example 14.7 in Build Script Basics). While a bit more verbose, it’s more transparent to the consumer what’s happening.

task allTheChecks(dependsOn: [
]) {
    description 'Convenience command to run all debug/flavor1debug checks (excluding :app's flavor2)'

Doing a dry run now spits out the desired results:

> ./gradlew allTheChecks -m

:app:connectedflavor1DebugAndroidTest SKIPPED
:app:testflavor1DebugUnitTest SKIPPED
:app:lintflavor1Debug SKIPPED
:flavor1:connectedDebugAndroidTest SKIPPED
:flavor1:testDebugUnitTest SKIPPED
:flavor1:lintDebug SKIPPED


The downside is needing to explicitly prefix everything with the module name. If anyone knows a way around this, please let me know!

Until next time…