Can you use providedCompile to build JAR's? Or, just WAR's (and EAR's?)?

This is a very interesting question:

which, for me, begs the question as to whether it’s standard practice to use providedCompile, and similar, when building SE JAR’s?

(I’m having trouble reading the groovy documentation, so will have to learn about groovy closures to understand how the build file works, this is just an interim question.)

Have a look at compileOnly dependencies in Gradle 2.12