Mojang has just recruited 4 members of Bukkit to ensure that Minecraft has the best modding experience it can provide, and the guys behind the well know Bukkit mod are definately the people for the job.
Here is a statement from Rock, Paper, Shotgun:
This is fantastic news for the community who has had to rely on Bukkit to update fast enough to keep up with the current server version in order for the mods installed to work fully.
Often after a major patch our server, and many others hits a wall where we have to decide, do we update for the latest server so that auto-updated clients can connect or keep the mods we have.
Due to this conflict we have opted for pure vanilla servers, which is great HOWEVER it can get stale quite fast and does not supply the wonderful tools available from the various mod makers for bukkit.
Here is Bukkit's rather lengthy but facinating statement:
When we started up Bukkit in December of 2010, we decided we wanted to do things right. Right from the beginning we wanted to be sure we were bringing about a positive change to Minecraft, one that Mojang themselves would approve of. To that end, we set up a meeting with Mojang to get a feel for their opinions on our project and make sure we weren't doing anything they didn't like. The gist of the meeting was that Mojang "liked what we were doing" but not how we had to go about doing things. Unfortunately, we both knew that we had no alternatives, so we continued along - albeit now with the reassurance that our project would most likely not be shut down any time in the future. We decided to create Bukkit to provide the Minecraft community with better tools to manage and extend their server, but our ultimate goal has always been to give the Minecraft community what it needed and wanted to make our favourite game even more enjoyable and being able to do so in an official capacity is our dream.
Shortly after the launch of Bukkit, after I had posted an innocent announcement to get developers interested in Bukkit, our project exploded with activity. While I had anticipated developer interest and had planned for such, the added interest from the community as a whole was simply overwhelming. So much so that it had begun to put a strain on my dedicated server and actually was pushing it to the point of hardware failure. Luckily, it was around this time that Curse approached us and offered to set-up a temporary Amazon EC2 instance while they purchased new servers for our use. Unfortunately, the Amazon EC2 instance also could not keep up with the demand and was proving to be too costly. So, we asked around for help and Multiplay's Steve Hartland put us on one of their boxes free of charge while we waited for new servers to be purchased and delivered.
One of the goals of the Bukkit project, or maybe just my personal goal, was to solve what I felt was a big problem within the Minecraft community: it was largely impossible for someone new to Minecraft to discover the unlimited potential of Minecraft modding. Not only would they have to deal with unwieldy and clunky forums, but there was also no central place for sharing your work. In answer to this problem, we endeavoured to create a new service dubbed Fill which we hoped would address all the needs of the community but were unable to gain any ground. We were simply not experienced enough to run something of this magnitude nor did we have the resources to pull it off. One day we were discussing the idea of Fill and our desire to provide a central download solution for the modding community and the WoW players on the team brought up Curse and the success they've had with WoWAce. At that point it all came together, not only did Curse have the resources to pull off something as large as we were envisioning in Fill, but they had the success, experience and scalable software with WoWAce to do so. With that, it was clear to everyone that Curse was the best route to take and dev.bukkit.org was born.
When news broke out about Mojang organising a Minecon, the entire community was alight with excitement and anticipation. Even today, I still find the sheer dedication from the fans unbelievable and overwhelming. Though we were also excited about Minecon, there was no way we would be able to go since Bukkit is an open source, free project. Much to our surprise, though, Curse had other plans in mind. They decided to fly us over, cover our tickets and accommodation, host us in their booth and setup a panel for us. I've never met a company that cares more about gaming than Curse: when the possibility of their supporting the Bukkit project first came up, we were all blown away. Curse wanted to throw themselves behind our project. They wanted to provide us with the support and resources we needed to continue functioning, no questions asked and their desire to send us to Minecon further reinforced this opinion we had of them. Thanks to their support, we were able to go to Minecon, have a great time and put together a panel filled with our fans, as well as sneak off to a secret meeting with Mojang.
Back in December of last year, my team and I were invited to Stockholm, Sweden by Mojang to discuss the future of Minecraft - and most importantly the future of Minecraft modding and the official Minecraft modding API. Having just recently met in Minecon, we mostly knew what to expect but were blown away by Mojang's hospitality and the surreality of actually being in Stockholm with them. Not only were we able to visit the Mojang HQ but we were also given the opportunity to be part of the launch of Cobalt (which was simply fantastic) and got to meet the entire team of talented individuals at Mojang. We spent the majority of our time with Mojang shooting ideas back and forth and getting a taste of what was to come and how we might be able to become involved.
Which leads me to today. Our meeting at Minecon was just the beginning and after having flown us out to Stockholm to get to know each other, it was clear that the potential to do truly great things together was there and we were eager to explore it. After all, we had already been given a direct line to the Minecraft team, the source code and were actively providing Mojang with (exploit) patches and improvements. The next logical step was to figure out the best way to continue working together, perhaps in a more official and intimate capacity. After careful and lengthy consideration, the best course of action became clear. My team and I had already achieved what we wanted to when we started the Bukkit project: provide server admins with the means to easily customise and run their server and provide developers with an easy to use, properly designed API to bring their insane and cool ideas to life. The next obvious step was to make it more official and with news breaking out that Mojang was interested in developing an official Minecraft API, we knew just how to do that.
I am extremely pleased and proud to announce that, as of today, the Bukkit team has joined Mojang. When discussing the possibility of a modding API publicly, Mojang was concerned that they would be unable to provide the community with a suitable and powerful enough solution and we honestly feel that our experience building Bukkit will help them do so. Thanks to our work with Bukkit, we have a years worth of experience, failures and lessons to help us develop a proper modding API and intend to do whatever it takes to produce one that satisfies the needs of the community. Now that we have an opportunity to design the official Minecraft API, we intend to make it a suitable replacement for Bukkit, if not a significantly better one, while bukkit.org will remain a community for modders for the foreseeable future.