With the introduction of the build system we hoped to give us some breathing room with development and provide a stable goal for Plugin Developers and server admins to rely on. And while I can honestly say we've achieved that, to an extent, things aren't going as I planned or expected them to.
While we do expect Plugin Developers to support the latest Recommended Build, we were also hoping that they wouldn't wait until the last minute to push a compatible build out. Basically, what we expected was that plugin devs would be actively following the development of the project (maybe even having a CI setup like we have) so that they would be prepared for whenever a Recommended Build does land. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be the case and plugin devs are only developing for Recommended Builds instead.
Although it's not realistic to expect that all Plugin Developers are always on top of new developments, it would...
Effectively immediately, we are no longer allowing the distribution of unofficial builds for several reasons:
It contributes to fragmentation
We have no way of ensuring the build doesn't contain malicious code
It results in an increased support load for a product we don't support, since it's an unofficial build.
It can end up misrepresenting our project if the unofficial builds cause problems. Yes, they're unofficial but, unfortunately, that doesn't usually stop people from letting it reflect badly upon the project.
We strongly recommend against the use of unofficial builds for the above reasons and hope that everyone will heed our warning. Unofficial builds can and have caused map corruption, server crashing and/or have contained security holes and backdoors in the past.
The recent Minecraft update marks the 3rd major update since we launched the Bukkit Project. While the first one had us off to a rocky start since we weren't prepared, this one took us a record 4 hours to update with little to no bugs being reported after we had made the build available for public testing. While I'm sure most of you are already aware that we've had a Minecraft 1.4 compatible build available for 2 days now (in fact, we had one 4 hours after the update was released!) we're making a formal announcement for those of you living under a rock.
As with any update please bear in mind that plugins may not be updated yet and that you should give Plugin Developers a few days to get their plugins working before you update. We strongly suggest you run a test server before you go live with this build to make sure all your plugins are up to date and working (see this post...