haxx qua non

grails plugin dependencies issues

by jja on

We've been banging our heads over some quirks and inconsistencies that we eventually traced to plugin dependency naming in Grails 2.3.x. My main Grails app gets its domain classes from a local plugin. That plugin needs the Hibernate and JodaTime plugins. Spelling the plugin names can be confusing and caused problems with run-app and run-script.

My plugin, called MyDomains, must reference both Hibernate and JodaTime in its BuildConfig.groovy and spell them with dashes:

dependencies {
  compile 'org.grails.plugins:hibernate4:'
  compile 'org.joda:joda-time:2.3'

To be complete and helpful for my main app, I added dependsOn requirements to my plugin, and that's where I ran into problems. Following BuildConfig, I spelled JodaTime with dashes, which turned out poorly:

def dependsOn = [
  hibernate4: ' > *',
  // dash-spelled names are WRONG here!
  'joda-time': '1.5',

Things seemed to work, sometimes. In particular, grails run-app usually worked, although sometimes it required an explict grails compile beforehand. grails run-script would only work immediately after a run-app. Often, however run-script wouldn't work at all, failing even though the error message seemed to indicate success!

| Error Error: The following plugins failed to load due to missing dependencies: [myDomains]
- Plugin: myDomains
   - Dependencies:
       - hibernate4 (Required: > *, Found:
       - joda-time (Required: 1.5, Found: 1.5)

Note that Grails claims to have found exactly the versions that are required, but claims there are missing dependencies.

It turns out that with dependsOn, we have to spell with first-letter-lowercased camelCase:

def dependsOn = [
  hibernate4: ' > *',
  jodaTime: '1.5',

The plugin class name is JodaTimeGrailsPlugin so (fully-capitalized) CamelCase would make sense, but Grails has a tendency to lowercase the first letter. What's really annoying is the difference in BuildConfig.

It gets deeper

Despite an admonition to not use dependsOn, I seem to need it to get my main app properly installing everything. This is complicated in that my plugin has a third plugin dependency not shown here, which I'll call "subThree". subThree is local and not published; I reference it in BuildConfig via (note the dashes):


That means I cannot use the dependencies DSL. The whole thing is further complicated in that I'm actually doing the same thing with JodaTime, in order to use my own patch that updates the JodaTime JAR and Grails version of that plugin.


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