GH-Next is largely the work of Scott Moreau, an independent developer that has been active on the Wayland development list and previously has been involved with Compiz. Motivated by the overhead of sending work upstream in Wayland/Weston, Moreau has created his own branches of Wayland, Weston, and other Git repositories to further development on his own.
Scott Moreau describes in his GH-Next announcement, "gh next is going to sort of 'run ahead' and see what we can do and what problems we uncover in the process. I've done enough fighting over the past year to get basic protocol upstream to wayland core and it's time to move forward. Anyone interested in discussing the wayland protocol and all the semantic details can continue and try to figure out what is best for wayland. Meanwhile, gh next wants to see what interesting toys we can make using slap-stick test protocols and implementations."
Scott says that GH-Next offers a place for users and programmers to learn about Wayland, foster a place for new development and ideas, and where runtime-critical issues are monitored.
Among the features offered by GH-Next at the moment over upstream Wayland/Weston is a "more aesthetically pleasing default theme" for the Weston shell, working XWayland title-bar buttons, maximize/minimize/close, snap-off maximize, taskbar/window-list, and a volume widget.
Scott explains in a later mailing list message he has no plans of upstreaming his patches but that any developers are free to take his open-source patches and do as they wish. "I myself am not going to waste my time and effort as I have done for the past several months, trying to get even the simplest things pushed upstream. So even if these patches were acceptable, I don't have plans to put forth a large amount of effort to see them upstream. If you want the code, great. It's FOSS, grab it. The general point here is, I don't really plan on going to be making special time to bug upstream anymore because my efforts so far have been shunned, shot down, trolled and ultimately, less-than-appreciated. It's been a year, now I've had enough of the nonsense."
The code to this experimental GH-Next project can be found with these GitHub repositories.