We reported at the beginning of the month that Mojang hired on former Bukkit members to help steer the future of Minecraft. They must have been put right to work when they arrived at Mojang because we're already on the cusp of the release of Minecraft 1.2.5.
Jeb took to the Mojang blog today to announce the impending release of version 1.2.5 of Minecraft. To get the news out of the way first, the new version of Minecraft will be launching via the in-game client on April 4. Being the awesome people that they are though, Mojang has made the new version of Minecraft available now to modders and anybody else who wants to manually download it. Why? New versions of Minecraft, or any game with a modding community, tend to screw up preexisting mods and server configurations. Case in point: I have a friend who runs Counter-Strike servers and new updates from Valve create chaos for him.
For those who don't care about that modding/server stuff and just want to see what new changes are coming to MInecraft, Mojang has you covered as well. The main reason for the new version comes a "severe crash bug in the world generator," but the new version also includes a variety of other fixes and adjustments.
Added shift clicking support in furnaces
Added method to easily acquire blocks you have selected in the world in Creative mode using the ‘pick block’ key
Made the Direct Connect dialog remember the last IP for the current session
Fixed issues detected certain links in chat
Fixed wild ocelots behaving like tamed cats
Fixed various chat crashes
Made cats less eager to sit on things
Made cats less patient
Fixed world generation failing under certain circumstances
Fixed issues turning off sound under certain circumstances
Removed all ghost entities under the command of Lord Herobrine
Fixed crash when pasting certain characters in chat
Fixed slash ‘/’ key not behaving correctly in certain environments
Fixed command matching being too greedy (for example: typing ‘/stophammertime’ no longer stops your server)
Fixed not being able to click coloured links
Fixed potential issue with village door detection (which could cause too many villagers)
Made using a stack of bowls on Mooshrooms not consume the whole stack of bowls
Made punching a TNT block with flint and steel in hand destroy and drop a TNT block (right-clicking will activate the TNT)
In other super cool news, Mojang also announced that they are creating a modding API. They will be designing it in the open and taking as much feedback from the fans as possible. They say the API was inspired by previous work from their Bukkit colleagues, but will be built from scratch instead of relying on old code.
Between a speedy new release to fix bugs, a modding API and giving modders early access to prevent problems; Mojang really is one of the most fan friendly developers out there. Like you needed me to tell you that though.