Minecraft is the most interesting gaming concept I’ve seen in many years. It is sort of a digital equivalent of Lego and allows people to build and experience amazing worlds. With well over 2 million copies sold and 1.2 million YouTube videos you quickly realize that people like this kind of game. Using just the basic game is enough to create all kinds of cool stuff, for example this computer.
What is my interest in all this except that I’m really into cool gaming ideas? Well, Minecraft is written in Java and it is easy to write plugins. Currently there is no official support for mods or plugins, although there probably will be in the future. However, there is lots of unofficial mods and the most promising server side mod seems to be Bukkit which supports plugins. Their wiki includes descriptions how to setup your workspace and how to write a plugin. The best way to learn is probably to take a look at the source of one of the many existing plugins.
There is a sample project available called SamplePlugin which you can use to get started quickly. I have added a simple maven profile that makes it even easier to get started:
git clone https://github.com/jankronquist/SamplePlugin.git
mvn package -Pstart-server