Back atom.xml blog Gradle Goodness: Excluding Shadow jar dependencies 15 Jul 2015 gradle gradlegoodness

Over the past year, I’ve spent a lot of time hacking in the Gradle ecosysgtem which, for better or worse, has earned me a reputation of knowing Gradle-y things within Lookout. Recently, my colleague Ron approached me with a Gradle problem: using the shadow plugin (a great plugin for building fat jars), he was having trouble excluding some dependencies from the produced jar artifact. I figured I would emulate Mr. Haki’s Gradle Goodness series and post one of my own.

### The Problem

The Shadow plugin will, by default, include runtime dependencies inside of the produced artifact. The way that it handles this is by unzipping (effectively) the .jar dependencies into the shadow jar’s file tree.

In Ron’s case, he’s building an Apache Storm topology which must compile against the “storm-core” dependency, but it must not include that dependency in the resulting artifact. Otherwise the deployment of the topology explodes with all kinds of classpath conflicts, as Storm already has the “storm-core” code loaded at runtime.

His build.gradle originally looked something like this:

plugins {
id 'java'
id 'com.github.johnrengelman.shadow' version '1.2.1'
}

manifest {
attributes 'Implementation-Title': 'Storm Health Check',
'Implementation-Version': project.version,
'Main-Class': 'com.github.lookout.storm.healthcheck.HealthCheckTopology'
}
}

dependencies {
compile group: 'org.apache.storm', name: 'storm-core', version: '0.9.4'
testCompile group: 'junit', name: 'junit', version: '4.11'
}


### Attempt #1

Overly confident, as per usual, I say “well there’s your problem” and change the dependencies { } closure to:

dependencies {
runtime group: 'org.apache.storm', name: 'storm-core', version: '0.9.4'
testCompile group: 'junit', name: 'junit', version: '4.11'
}


This, of course, will fail to compile the Java code included in the project since it needs the transitive dependencies of “storm-core” to compile properly.

Duh.

### Attempt #2

Reading through the docs again for the Shadow plugin, I noticed this bit about excluding dependencies and figured I would give that a try:

shadowJar {
manifest {
attributes 'Implementation-Title': 'Storm Health Check',
'Implementation-Version': project.version,
'Main-Class': 'com.github.lookout.storm.healthcheck.HealthCheckTopology'
}

dependencies {
exclude(dependency('org.apache.storm:storm-core:0.9.4'))
}
}


Unfortnuately this functionality provided by the Shadow plugin on excludes the top-level dependency, and doesn’t do anything different with transitive dependencies.

So that doesn’t work for us, trying again!

### Attempt #3

I’ve worked with the Shadow plugin a number of times before, and I’m aware of the defaults that are applied to the default shadowJar { } task, so my next attempt was to simply avoid that task

configurations {
}

manifest {
attributes 'Implementation-Title': 'Storm Health Check',
'Implementation-Version': project.version,
'Main-Class': 'com.github.lookout.storm.healthcheck.HealthCheckTopology'
}

from(project.sourceSets.main.output)
}


This introduces a new configuration called “shadow” which is assigned to the new “stormTopology” task. So this technically works.

It’s got some downsides:

• Introduction of a new task
• Introduction of a new, empty, configuration
• Additional code to get our ShadowJar task to be configured properly

This didn’t feel right to me, so I tried one more time to make it cleaner

### Attempt #3 1/2

While re-reviewing the code for the default shadowJar { } task, I noticed this line which configures the task to use the “runtime” configuration by default. The Gradle Java plugin defines a number of configurations, “compile” being one of them and another notable one being “runtime.” The latter is intended for runtime dependencies for the application being built. The Java plugin also makes “runtime” extend from “compile,” turning it into a superset of dependency information.

This means that if you define a “compile” dependency, it will be present in the “runtime” configuration automatically.

Recognizing this as part of a potential solution, I refactored the build.gradle one more time:

plugins {
id 'com.github.johnrengelman.shadow' version '1.2.1'
}

manifest {
attributes 'Implementation-Title': 'Storm Health Check',
'Implementation-Version': project.version,
'Main-Class': 'com.github.lookout.storm.healthcheck.HealthCheckTopology'
}
}

dependencies {
compile group: 'org.apache.storm', name: 'storm-core', version: '0.9.4'
testCompile group: 'junit', name: 'junit', version: '4.11'
}

configurations {
/* We don't want the storm-core dependency in our shadowJar */
runtime.exclude module: 'storm-core'
}


Note the last configurations { } closure. This is using Gradle’s built in dependency management semantics to purge storm-core and its transitive dependencies from the “runtime” configuration.

This is short, functional and doesn’t require any special configuration, yay!