What kind of support will the API offer for very large mods, such as EvilMinecraft or the Aether? Will it be able to meet all of their needs?
Impossible for me to say anything absolutely at this point. Our goal is to provide as much as we can and the API will be open enough for people to suggest new methods and ways of doing things, that if we can't cater to a plugin at the start we hope you can work with us to make it possible later on.
If the API is unable to meet a mod's needs, what options do the creators of that mod have, really?
You still have the option of modding, we're not going to force a diamond sword to your neck and say "use plugins or be slapped with a raw fish!". We just really, really want you to use plugins for everyone's convenience. See my previous point too.
In terms of the actual mod distribution once the API is out, how will that work? Will creators go on minecraft.net and go to a new section in which they upload their mod, or what?
We don't have much details on this to announce yet, but we're looking to set up a new mod distribution platform which will be accessible both online and ingame. Authors will just upload their stuff on a website and we'll take care of the rest with a bit of magic.
Why has Mojang not released the Minecraft source to modders(who sign a NDA) for the time being to make modding easier before the API is released?
Not my call so I can't really say why; but I can tell you that it won't help you as much as you think unless you had the ability to commit back. The obfuscated version is too different from the real version, it's not at all easy to switch between them.
Moving forward, how do you hope for Mojang to connect with the modding community outside of the API?
I'm not really sure. Do you have any suggestions? We'd obviously love to somehow give back to authors of popular plugins, and we really want to work together designing the future of things, but nothing is set in stone right now.
What does the mod API mean for the future of Bukkit?
I've answered this previously in a FAQ but basically we're going to keep Bukkit around as a community thing until it's either too difficult to update, or the community stops using it and has already switched to the new API.
If you could code any mob into the game, what would it be?
Pandas. I already tried playing with them, but I still need to get used to skinning and animating things.
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