Cool beans, Hopefully this will mean good things for both Bukkit and Mojang as well as great things for SMP as a whole. Lets face it without mods the vanilla SMP server was about as bare bones as you can get. Which is fine if you're setting up a server for you and a handful of your immediate real life friends.
I look forward to more options to become standard in SMP along with a host of new plugins.
Bukkit is too simple, there should be more commands and possibilities that are more easily done. It's not so comfortable as CMP server softwares and that's why i still think that CMP have sometimes better multiplayer than SMP (not so big lags and much more easilly controllable). I was able to host a survival server with sometimes 20 people online with physics on some maps and huge lava survival with many mobs and no lags (running on 1gb RAM, weak single core processor and really ****ty router that was unable to run MySQL). Now i have 2gb RAM and i can't even host an internet server for 2 people although i portforwarded. Even over Hamachi... Old good MCLawl!
Never in my wildest dreams... Truly, this is a dream come true for the community! Now with Bukkit (likely) heading multiplayer and (hopefully) modding as well, I am confident that Minecraft is in good hands. Words can't express my excitement for what is to come!
As I see it now the modding community is fractured already, modders are making their own seperate APIs and it gets harder to use one mod with another without having to pick one API-like program or another or one mod conflicting with another. If everyone was smart, they would let their mods be used by mojang/bukkit/jeb so they integrate them into MC to create an awsome API that would allow for many different types of mods to be used and at the same time. As it sounds, bukkit will be dephased and the bukkit team works with and communicates regularly now with mojang to create a new api - could be bukkit like.
As Mojang was going to implement a new API, it would have meant a change to all mods to comply with it, which could have meant a revamping of bukkit and all its mods anyway. This way we all get one api that everyone conforms to, and hopefully simpler for unknowledgable common users to load and use, and maybe eliminate some of these "I can't load your mod" or "You're mod causes a blackscreen" statements which clog up the forums. I'm not familiar with bukkit as I only play single player, but i don't think it will mean close-source, as bukkit will now be part of mojang, and Notch/Mojang stated in the past that if modders wanted to have source info to develop a mod all they had to do was apply. I know it will be a pain for modders to update again after this API is done but for the future in the long run we might not have to wait for every mod to update after every MC update, it should make it easier both on modders and players. So congrates Bukkit team. It shows that Mojang is looking at the modding community and is getting the help it needs to make a more solid game for all - SSP and SMP.