Language-based build tools like Gradle and Rake continue to offer finer-grained abstractions and more flexibility long term than XML and plug-in based tools like Ant and Maven. This allows them to grow gracefully as projects become more complex.
Two things have caused fatigue with XML-based build tools like Ant and Maven: too many angry pointy braces and the coarseness of plug-in architectures. While syntax issues can be dealt with through generation, plug-in architectures severely limit the ability for build tools to grow gracefully as projects become more complex. We have come to feel that plug-ins are the wrong level of abstraction, and prefer language-based tools like Gradle and Rake instead, because they offer finer-grained abstractions and more flexibility long term.
This tool was included in this edition of the Radar for visibility. We felt that there wasn't anything substantial to add to the discourse around it, but that it was important to keep this in view.
Gradle is an attempt to bring sanity to the enterprise build space by marrying best-of-breed tools with cutting edge techniques. Gradle allows you to interact with your existing Maven repositories, but adds scriptability to your builds with a clean domain specific language.