😴 🧙🌈 ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

The following article teaches how to publish a Kotlin library to JitPack or GitHub Packages, using Gradle build tool.

https://developerlife.com/2021/02/06/publish-kotlin-library-as-gradle-dep/


There are only two categories of software: open-source software and proprietary software. Any software that’s not open-source is proprietary, regardless of whether its source code is available on GitHub.

Introduction

I’m used to importing libraries that I need in gradle by simply adding them as a dependency for implementation or testing in build.gradle or build.gradle.kts.

However, I’ve always been curious about how to publish my own dependency that can easily be used by other projects.

This tutorial shows how to take a Kotlin library and publish it to the GitHub Package Registry and JitPack, as a dependency that can be used in gradle projects. I used to use JFrog Bintray but both Bintray and JCenter are going to be shut down in May 2021.

In this tutorial I will create the color-console library that allows console messages to be colorized using ANSI color codes. Here is the end result snippet that we are looking to enable for our color-console library.

Using JitPack 👍

✨ This is much simpler than GPR and the way to go for public dependencies.

This could not be any easier. It’s really a 2 step process, once you have your library built with gradle and its git repo pushed into GitHub. Let’s use the following Kotlin library that’s published via JitPack as an example for this article: color-console.

Publish a dependency to JitPack

maven-publish plugin

Ensure that the maven-publish plugin is imported in build.gradle.kts.

plugins {
  java
  kotlin("jvm") version "1.6.0"
  `maven-publish`
}

repositories {
  mavenCentral()
}

dependencies {
  implementation(kotlin("stdlib-jdk8"))
  testImplementation("junit", "junit", "4.12")
}

tasks {
  compileKotlin {
    kotlinOptions.jvmTarget = "1.8"
  }
  compileTestKotlin {
    kotlinOptions.jvmTarget = "1.8"
  }
}

publishing {
  publications {
    create<MavenPublication>("maven") {
      groupId = "com.developerlife"
      artifactId = "color-console"
      version = "1.0.1"

      from(components["java"])
    }
  }
}

publishing, groupId, artifactId, version

Without the publishing rule of build.gradle.kts you will get an error from JitPack even though the ./gradlew build publishToMavenLocal will work. This error will say ERROR: No build artifacts found. Check out this tutorial for more info on this.

Even though the groupId, artifactId, version are specified inside the publishing rule above it doesn’t really get applied to the final artifact served up by JitPack. JitPack renames these artifacts to something that reflects that they originated from github.com and the user nazmulidris.

So the dependencies statement you find in a project’s Gradle build file that depends on this library doesn’t match the identifiers specified in this rule: dependencies { implementation 'com.github.nazmulidris:color-console:Tag' }. The following is sanitized snippet from the build log that JitPack generates that shows this happening.

------------------------------------------------------------
Gradle 7.0
------------------------------------------------------------
Build time:   2021-04-09 22:27:31 UTC
Revision:     d5661e3f0e07a8caff705f1badf79fb5df8022c4

Kotlin:       1.4.31
Groovy:       3.0.7
Ant:          Apache Ant(TM) version 1.10.9 compiled on September 27 2020
JVM:          1.8.0_252 (Private Build 25.252-b09)
OS:           Linux 4.18.0-25-generic amd64

Getting tasks: ./gradlew tasks --all
> Task :clean UP-TO-DATE
> Task :compileKotlin
> Task :compileJava NO-SOURCE
> Task :processResources NO-SOURCE
> Task :classes UP-TO-DATE
> Task :inspectClassesForKotlinIC
> Task :jar
> Task :assemble
> Task :check
> Task :build
> Task :generateMetadataFileForMavenPublication
> Task :generatePomFileForMavenPublication
> Task :publishMavenPublicationToMavenLocal
> Task :publishToMavenLocal

BUILD SUCCESSFUL in 7s
7 actionable tasks: 6 executed, 1 up-to-date
Looking for artifacts...
Looking for pom.xml in build directory and ~/.m2
Found artifact: com.developerlife:color-console:1.0.1

Build artifacts:
com.github.nazmulidris:color-console:1.0.1

Files:
com/github/nazmulidris/color-console/1.0.1
com/github/nazmulidris/color-console/1.0.1/build.log
com/github/nazmulidris/color-console/1.0.1/color-console-1.0.1-sources.jar
com/github/nazmulidris/color-console/1.0.1/color-console-1.0.1.jar
com/github/nazmulidris/color-console/1.0.1/color-console-1.0.1.module
com/github/nazmulidris/color-console/1.0.1/color-console-1.0.1.pom
com/github/nazmulidris/color-console/1.0.1/color-console-1.0.1.pom.md5
com/github/nazmulidris/color-console/1.0.1/color-console-1.0.1.pom.sha1

Build & publish locally first

Before you can publish this library, make sure that you can run the following commands, that ensure that JitPack can build this repo using gradle.

./gradlew clean
./gradlew build
./gradlew build publishToMavenLocal

Prepare a release & publish

In order to publish this repo to JitPack you have to do the following things.

  1. Make the changes that you want the repo, and commit and push it. Also, make sure that the library can be built by JitPack using the command shown above.
  2. Update the version value in build.gradle.kts, this affects the JAR file that is built by JitPack. For consistency, the value here should match the release and tag value as well.
  3. Get all the tags for this repo from GitHub using git pull origin. Then you can list the available tags using git tag -l.
  4. Create a new tag. To create a new tag run this command git tag <TAG_NAME>, where <TAG_NAME> could be something like 1.0.1. Just make sure not to clobber any existing tag name.
  5. Publish the tag to GitHub using the following command git push --tags.
  6. Finally create a new Release for this tag using GitHub web interface.

⚡ Note, to delete a tag from GitHub you can run this command git push --delete origin <TAG_NAME> ; git pull origin. You can delete a tag from your local repo using git tag -d <TAG_NAME>; git push origin --tags. You can’t manage releases though, which require the use of the GitHub web UI. Here’s more info on git tagging.

Import and use it

Then, in the project where you want to add this library as a dependency, eg: idea-plugin-example you have to do the following. You can import this dependency into your gradle projects by making the following changes to your build.gradle or build.gradle.kts file.

  1. Add this at the end of your repositories section.

    For build.gradle:

    repositories {
      repositories {maven { url 'https://jitpack.io' }}
    }
    

    For build.gradle.kts:

    repositories {
      maven{
        url = uri("https://jitpack.io")
      }
    }
    
  2. Add the dependency.

    For build.gradle:

    dependencies { implementation 'com.github.nazmulidris:color-console:1.0.0' }
    

    For build.gradle.kts:

    dependencies { implementation ("com.github.nazmulidris:color-console:1.0.0") }
    

Information about this dependency on JitPack:

Using GitHub Package Registry (GPR) 👎

⚠ GPR is complex and has authentication issues for public dependencies. People are really unhappy about this.

Desired snippet for build.gradle.kts (using Kotlin DSL):

repositories {
  maven {
    name = "GitHubPackages"
    url = uri("https://maven.pkg.github.com/nazmulidris/color-console")
    credentials {
      username = System.getenv("GITHUB_PACKAGES_USERID") ?: "nazmulidris"
      // Safe to share the password since it is a `read:package` scoped token.
      password = System.getenv("GITHUB_PACKAGES_IMPORT_TOKEN") ?: "22e9ba0d47c3e9116a2f1023867a1985beebfb60"
    }
  }
}

dependencies {
  implementation("com.developerlife:color-console:1.0")
}

Desired snippet for build.gradle (using Groovy):

repositories {
  maven {
    name = "GitHubPackages"
    url = uri("https://maven.pkg.github.com/OWNER/REPOSITORY")
    credentials {
      username = System.getenv("GITHUB_PACKAGES_USERID") ?: "nazmulidris"
      // Safe to share the password since it is a `read:package` scoped token.
      password = System.getenv("GITHUB_PACKAGES_IMPORT_TOKEN") ?: "22e9ba0d47c3e9116a2f1023867a1985beebfb60"
    }
  }
}

dependencies {
  implementation 'com.developerlife:color-console:1.0'
}

Create a new GitHub repo for the actual code of the library

The code that comprises the library, that will be built is in this GitHub repo for color-console.

Using IDEA create a Gradle + Java + Kotlin (JVM) project. Make sure it uses Kotlin and not Groovy for the Gradle build script (I only got this working w/ the Kotlin DSL and not Groovy). It’s a very simple Kotlin and Gradle that has a single source file. Add the source code there and the following steps are where things get interesting.

Generate the personal access tokens that will be needed to publish and import

The first step is to create some GitHub personal access tokens that will do 2 things. You might consider saving them to global environment variables using whatever shell you use.

  1. GITHUB_PACKAGES_PUBLISH_TOKEN - this token has repo, write:packages scope. Do NOT share this!
  2. GITHUB_PACKAGES_IMPORT_TOKEN - this token has read:packages scope. This is ok to share.

You might also consider saving the following environment variable too.

  1. GITHUB_PACKAGES_USERID - this is the GitHub username for the token. This is ok to share.

Add GitHub Package Registry support to the build script so that the package can be published

Edit the build.gradle.kts file to allow this library to be published to GitHub Packages. Here are the high level steps.

  1. Add some plugins so that we can publish this project to GitHub Packages.
  2. Configure the maven publishing plugin. More info.
  3. To publish, you have to run the gradle task named publish. This will generate a release package for color-console.
  4. Before publishing you might want to test that this works locally by using the publishToMavenLocal task which will generate the artifacts locally and save them to the $HOME/.m2/repository/com/developerlife/color-console/ folder.

Here is what you need to add to your build.gradle.kts:

publishing {
  repositories {
    maven {
      name = "GitHubPackages"
      url = uri("https://maven.pkg.github.com/${myGithubUsername}/${myArtifactId}")
      credentials {
        username = System.getenv("GITHUB_PACKAGES_USERID")
        password = System.getenv("GITHUB_PACKAGES_PUBLISH_TOKEN")
      }
    }
  }
}

publishing {
  publications {
    register("gprRelease", MavenPublication::class) {
      groupId = myArtifactGroup
      artifactId = myArtifactId
      version = myArtifactVersion

      from(components["java"])

      artifact(sourcesJar)
      artifact(dokkaJavadocJar)

      pom {
        packaging = "jar"
        name.set(myArtifactId)
        description.set(myGithubDescription)
        url.set(myGithubHttpUrl)
        scm {
          url.set(myGithubHttpUrl)
        }
        issueManagement {
          url.set(myGithubIssueTrackerUrl)
        }
        licenses {
          license {
            name.set(myLicense)
            url.set(myLicenseUrl)
          }
        }
        developers {
          developer {
            id.set(myGithubUsername)
            name.set(myDeveloperName)
          }
        }
      }

    }
  }
}

Here is a link to the entire source file so that you can see where these variables are defined and what the other functions are that generate the docs and the JAR files using the pom function.

Import this dependency into another gradle project

In order to load the package for the library from GitHub Packages Registry, the official docs provide some detailed examples of the provider side of things. And you can extrapolate what the consumer side of things might look like. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that a read:packages scoped GitHub personal access token will be required by the consumer of the package (and has to be accessible their build.gradle or build.gradle.kts file).

Make sure to provide the following environment variables before you import this package.

  1. GITHUB_PACKAGES_IMPORT_TOKEN - this token has read:packages scope. This is ok to share.
  2. GITHUB_PACKAGES_USERID - this is the GitHub username for the token. This is ok to share.

Here is more information on how to declare your own maven repositories using gradle.

To import this library into your Gradle project, please add the following lines in your build.gradle file in order to use this library (in Groovy).

repositories {
  maven {
    name = "GitHubPackages"
    url = uri("https://maven.pkg.github.com/nazmulidris/color-console")
    credentials {
      username = System.getenv("GITHUB_PACKAGES_USERID") ?: "nazmulidris"
      // Safe to share the password since it is a `read:package` scoped token.
      password = System.getenv("GITHUB_PACKAGES_IMPORT_TOKEN") ?: "22e9ba0d47c3e9116a2f1023867a1985beebfb60"
    }
  }
}

dependencies {
    implementation 'com.developerlife:color-console:1.0'
}

Here’s the Kotlin DSL version for build.gradle.kts:

repositories {
  maven {
    name = "GitHubPackages"
    url = uri("https://maven.pkg.github.com/nazmulidris/color-console")
    credentials {
      username = System.getenv("GITHUB_PACKAGES_USERID") ?: "nazmulidris"
      // Safe to share the password since it is a `read:package` scoped token.
      password = System.getenv("GITHUB_PACKAGES_IMPORT_TOKEN") ?: "22e9ba0d47c3e9116a2f1023867a1985beebfb60"
    }
  }
}

dependencies {
  implementation("com.developerlife:color-console:1.0")
}

References

#reads #nazmul idris #kotlin #open source #gradle #jitpack #github packages