There has been no shortage of debate over the plans to include canonical (or “core”) plugins in WordPress. While I haven’t fully decided what my stance on the matter is, I do have an idea for what the concept should become.
Core plugins shouldn’t be about “let’s have an official plugin for x.” They should instead be frameworks of additional classes and hooks that can be extended by plugins and themes. Instead of having, say, a canonical plugin to integrate Facebook into WordPress, you could have a “Microblogging” core plugin that doesn’t do much aside from add a bunch of new microblogging-related hooks (along with classes for interacting with the Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. APIs.). Plugins and themes could then hook into the microblogging core plugin, using it’s generic methods to update one social network or many simultaneously.
Does that make sense?