I can't find anything about Gradle's plan or strategy how to solve this "provided" problem. I tried some answers, but many of them didn't work anymore (shooting on a moving target) or just proved a bit more complicated than a single word "provided" we are used to in Maven builds. I'd like to move to Gradle, but even such a silly thing like "provided" is nearly showstopper for me. Reportedly it makes only sense in WAR, but that's far from truth. Virtually any project I worked on used this dependency scope - probably because they were using some managed environment that provided the dependency. We use it often for JARs, because we don't want to put all the classes into WEB-INF/classes every time and we rely on the fact that provided does not drag these dependencies into WEB-INF/lib.
Provided (or providedCompile, however it would be named) out of the box would be definitely more than welcome addition. It is not just cherry on some icecream. Is there anywhere some summary why modelling this takes so long? While I had problems with many Maven's things, "provided" worked absolutely smooth and never surprised me as a concept.