Why do I have to apply plugins in the top level project for multiprojects?

I’m trying to understand multiproject builds wrt. ‘apply plugin’, with the hope of converting our large maven codebase to gradle, but I suspect I’m not understanding something because I’m too used to maven.

Our project has many different sub-projects of differing types :

  • java (jar)

  • java (war)

  • groovy (|groovy + java) (jar);

  • flex

  • etc…

    Coming from a maven background, I was expecting each one to need something like

    apply plugin: ‘java’ or

apply plugin: ‘gradlefx’

Which seems sensible. But what I don’t grok is why nothing happens (non-working of ‘gradle build’ at the top level) unless I also do something like this in my top-level build file:

subprojects { subProject ->

apply plugin: ‘java’


Surely I don’t have to declare project types in this file too, just to get a multi-project build to work?

If applying plugins in subproject build scripts doesn’t seem to have any effect, something is wrong with your build script(s). Do you have a ‘settings.gradle’?