As most of you are aware, XDA is dedicated to a spirit of openness in both hardware and software. One thing that proponents of open source ideals have long rallied against is the bundling of closed source proprietary software, especially when that software is required for the operating system to retain full functionality. Even Google is guilty of this, as not using their proprietary Google Applications (i.e. Maps, Play Store, etc.) with an Android device greatly reduces standard functionality.
XDA Forum Member MaR-V-iN has taken it upon himself to do something about this with his latest endeavor: NOGAPPS Project. The basic premise is to incorporate all of the missing APIs that would normally come from the closed-source, proprietary Google Applications (GAPPS) and incorporate them into open applications. This would in turn allow AOSP to become truly independent and functional, without the user having to flash additional proprietary content. (For those not aware, Google does not allow AOSP ROM developers, like Cyanogen, to bundle GAPPS with their ROM’s, forcing users to flash them separately.)
The project is being updated regularly, and MaR-V-iN is looking for assistance in both testing and development. So head on over to the original thread and contribute in any way you can._________