Sorry I should have been more clear, and maybe I’m missing something. The maven release plugin has a drawn a nice line in the sand for what people expect when they need to “release”. “Release” involving building/signing/sending to sonatype, maybe staging everything then most importantly revving the version. The first half if pretty well covered, if you poke around the internet enough, but even then you’ll have some warts setting the right keys and sonatype login. Staging locally take some more coding, but it can be done (read: not implied from convention, you have to be very explit that you want a different repo locally and create a new upload task).
The key though is finding the appropriate next version and using that, changing the version in SCM and possibly tagging the release in SCM. You should also be able to differentiate between release and snapshot. You can see hints of it in the Gradle source tree in buildSrc, e.g. Releases.groovy, Tag.groovy, or in the Artifactory plugin. But, from what I can tell, this isn’t made available to users.
I’d challenge someone to show a realistic minimally viable gradle “hello world” project that releases to Maven Central, and it won’t be under 200 lines. And that seems like way too much when we’re all trying to do it the same way, it’s almost prohibitive. I can see people coming to Gradle and saying “This looks great”, and then when they’re done releasing they realize that this is more than they signed up for. The appropriate answer might be plugins. I just haven’t seen a plugin the does all that with reasonable defaults, which we might have seen from Maven.
I hopeful that this will exist, soon, though I believe the pain of developing plugins is preventing the community from offering a rich set of powerful plugins.