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Gradle buildSrcVersions

The ancestor of the plugin id("de.fayard.refreshVersions") was a plugin called id("de.fayard.buildSrcVersions"). It took advantage of the IDE integration with the buildSrc module in Gradle.

The idea still makes sense for example to have better IDE support for Groovy, and in that case you can enable it and use the task buildSrcVersions buildSrcLibs.

Gradle buildSrcVersions is dead…

What the former plugin did was to auto-generate the buildSrc/.../{Libs,Versions}.kt files above!

$ ./gradlew buildSrcVersions
# now that would be: ./gradlew buildSrcLibs
> Task :buildSrcVersions
        new file:   buildSrc/build.gradle.kts
        new file:   buildSrc/.gitignore
        new file:   buildSrc/src/main/kotlin/Libs.kt
        new file:   buildSrc/src/main/kotlin/Versions.kt

The idea was to take advantage of IntelliJ & Android Studio support for the Gradle buildSrc module.

The buildSrc module in Gradle

The buildSrc is a Gradle module where you can write Kotlin code (with full tooling support). That code is then be available to all your build files - not your final application.

One cool thing you can do with it is to replace those libraries.gradle files we used to write:

object Libs {
    const val okhttp = "com.squareup.okhttp3:okhttp:" + Versions.okhttp
    const val okio = "com.squareup.okio:okio:" + Versions.okio
object Versions {
    const val okhttp = "3.12.1"
    const val okio = "2.0.0"

The crucial difference was that IntelliJ IDEA and Android Studio have good support for calling it from build.gradle[.kts]

Finally the IDE tooling we deserve:

  • auto-completion
  • jumping to definition

Long life to “gradle buildSrcLibs”!

The Versions.kt file was replaced by a technically better solution, the file.

That said, the Libs.kt file still has its use cases, for example to have better IDE support for Groovy.

Enable it in your settings.gradle(.kts) file:

refreshVersions {

The task buildSrcLibs is now available

(It also has an alias: buildSrcVersions for easier transition for existing users).

Use it like this:

$ ./gradlew buildSrcLibs
> Task :buildSrcLibs
        new file:
        new file:   buildSrc/src/main/kotlin/Libs.kt

The task generates what you expect:

object Libs {
    const val okhttp = "com.squareup.okhttp3:okhttp:_"
    const val okio = "com.squareup.okio:okio:_"

The constants generated in Libs.kt have the same name as they had in the buildSrcVersions plugin.

This makes updating to refreshVersions pretty straightforward.

Replace your dependencies

First, reload/sync your Gradle project in the IDE.

You can now start to replace your magic strings with the properties available in Libs.kt

Update dependencies

You can still automatically look for updates, but this is now done with the task refreshVersions and editing the file

$ ./gradlew refreshVersions

Read more: Update dependencies.