Hey fellow developers!
Upgrading libraries in your gradle file for an Android project is a crucial part of keeping your project up to date and running smoothly.
However, it’s not uncommon to encounter errors or deprecated code after upgrading a library. If this happens to you, don’t panic!
There are a few steps you can take to fix the issues and get your project back on track.
Understanding the Role of Gradle Files
In an Android project, there are two main gradle build files that you might need to work with: the “build.gradle” file and the “gradle-wrapper.properties” file.
The “build.gradle” file is located in the root directory of your Android project and is used to configure the build process for your app.
This file includes information about your project’s dependencies, build types, and other build-related settings.
The “gradle-wrapper.properties” file, on the other hand, is used to specify the version of gradle that your project should use.
This file is located in the “gradle” directory of your Android project.
When upgrading libraries in a gradle file, you’ll typically be working with the “build.gradle” file.
However, you might also need to update the “gradle-wrapper.properties” file if you’re using a new version of gradle that is not compatible with your current project setup.
It’s important to note that there are actually two “build.gradle” files in an Android project: one at the root level of the project, and one in the “app” directory.
The “build.gradle” file in the root directory is used to configure the overall build process for your project, while the “build.gradle” file in the “app” directory is used to configure the build process for your app specifically.
When upgrading libraries, you’ll typically need to update the “build.gradle” file in the “app” directory.
However, you might also need to update the “build.gradle” file in the root directory if you’re adding a new library that is not already included in your project.
In addition to the “build.gradle” and “gradle-wrapper.properties” files, there is also a “gradle.properties” file in an Android project.
This file is used to specify global properties for your project’s gradle build, such as the Android SDK location and the version of the Android plugin for gradle that you’re using.
You generally won’t need to make any changes to the “gradle.properties” file when upgrading libraries, but it’s worth being aware of its existence in case you need to make any global configuration changes to your project’s gradle build.
Step 1: Open Your Project’s build.gradle File
The build.gradle file is located in the root directory of your project and defines all of the dependencies and libraries that your project uses.
To upgrade a library, you’ll need to make changes to this file.
Step 2: Look for Outdated Libraries
In the dependencies block of the build.gradle file, look for any dependencies that are out of date or that you want to upgrade.
For example, let’s say you want to upgrade the appcompat-v7 library from version 27.1.1 to version 30.0.0.
To do this, you would change the following line:
Step 3: Sync Your Project with the New Gradle File
After making changes to your build.gradle file, you’ll need to sync your project with the new gradle file.
To do this, go to the “Project” pane in Android Studio and click the “Refresh” button, or use the ./gradlew build command if you’re using the command line.
First, try to understand the error message or warning that you are seeing.
This will often give you a good indication of what the problem is and how to fix it.
If you’re not sure what the message means, you can try searching online for more information or seeking help from your fellow colleagues at the office or through slack.
Step 4: Fix Any Errors or Deprecated Code
Once you have a better understanding of the problem, you can start working on a solution.
This may involve updating your code to use new features or APIs that are available in the newer version of the library, or it may involve changing your code to avoid using deprecated features or APIs.
If you’re having trouble figuring out how to fix the issues, you may want to consider downgrading to an earlier version of the library.
This can be a good option if you don’t want to spend a lot of time fixing issues or if you need to get your project up and running as quickly as possible, MVP (Minimum Viable Product).
Downgrading a Gradle dependency can also potentially introduce security vulnerabilities if the newer version of the dependency includes security patches that were not present in the older version.
Additionally, it may also expose the application to known vulnerabilities that have been fixed in the newer version of the dependency.
Therefore, it is important to research and test any dependency changes, including downgrades, to ensure the application remains secure and free from vulnerabilities.
On the other hand, if you want/need to downgrade a library, simply change the version number in your gradle file back to the previous version that you were using or a version inbetween the one you’re using and the latest.
The reason for this is wether the version number is e.g., compatible with your target SDK and/or if another library is dependent on the library your currently upgrading/downgrading.
Incompatibility issues like these can be quite common but unforseen since Android Studio don’t always highlights this type of issues.
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on the documentation and release notes for the library that you are using.
These resources can provide valuable information about new features, deprecated APIs, and known issues that you may encounter while using the library.
Tips on staying up-to-date
- Manually check the official website or documentation for release information, or look for release notes on the library’s GitHub repository.
- Gradle has a built-in feature that can check for updates, and there’s also a plugin like
com.github.ben-manes:gradle-versions-plugin that can check all dependencies.
- Some libraries also have mailing lists or social media to announce new releases.
Before upgrading, evaluate the changes in the new version and test the library to ensure it aligns with the project goals.
- If you encounter errors or deprecated code after upgrading a library in your gradle file, try to understand the problem and then work on a solution.
- If necessary, you can also consider downgrading to an earlier version of the library or checking the documentation for more information.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Stay vigilant, and happy coding!