I realize that the 1.5 publishing work is in progress, so a response of “it’s not ready yet” is perfectly fine. I was trying to convert one of my builds to using maven-publish with a nightly build (gradle-1.5-20130212232708+0000-bin.zip), and overall had good luck. Publishing was working, including my main jar, customized pom, sources jar, and javadoc jar. The only thing I couldn’t get working was signing.
Thanks for trying out the new publishing stuff: good to hear it’s mostly working for you.
I wouldn’t yet expect signing to “just work” at this stage. However it might be possible to manually add the signing artifacts to the publication.
You can take a look at the plans for the new publishing plugins in the design doc: https://github.com/gradle/gradle/blob/master/design-docs/publication-model.md. You’ll see that integrating the signing plugin is on the list, but it’s still a ways off. If you’re very keen to have this working and have the inclination, this would make a valuable contribution.