For all my professional career, I have been involved in software build systems, starting with Make, Imake, Ant, Maven etc. Currently we use Ant at blue elephant but the build is huge, hard to maintain and totally unmodular. No point, that one could also do it better in Ant or let yourself subjugate on the rigid conventions of Maven. But what I was looking for is to minimize efforts of migration, be flexible to do things a bit adapted but still have the nice convention based build and especially the dependency management of maven.
It turns out that there is indeed a optimal solution for it and it comes with the name Gradle. We are anyhow using a lot of Groovy (see earlier posts), which is for me the optimal scripting language. Gradle is well documented, in contrast to the ever mystic maven, it is non-XML using a Groovy DSL as notation and it can use Ant tasks and scripts, which eases migration a lot. And anyhow, there some things in Ant that are unparelleled elsewhere, like the fileset-based operations and there are tons of Ant tasks out there, like xmltask, scp etc. that it would be dump to re-implement just for the fun of it.
Also there seem to be a lot of enthusiastics for Gradle, like this blog. And there is one fan more, so we will soon see some Gradle in MIDAS probably …