I think that gradle should follow the pattern that cocoa-pods and ruby’s bundler has where a dependency file is created. this file lists all the dependencies and versions that are resolved.
right now you have to generate a dependency report, which means going through a (potentially) long build process to view the report. Also, if I want to view dependencies on each project I have to download the source and execute the report rather than just browse the reports in a web based UI (like github).
I guess this could be done by running the dependency report and piping to a file, however a bunch of output comes along with the report. So the gradle output before the dependency report would have to be parsed out.
The other issue is bundler and cocoa pods actually have the product working off the generated dependency files, so the user has to actually request updated dependencies. This is an interesting idea for gradle, I guess there are pros and cons. Definitely not how gradle works now though.
I like the idea of eventually having IDEs use a generated dependency file rather than having gradle generate the nasty/complex IDE project files. but again, this is a different approach that gradle currently takes.