Could the Gizmoplex be open source?

Based on today’s update, I loved that there was a focus on using the funds more towards the actual content of Season 13 than the development of the Gizmoplex. But it got me thinking, what if the Gizmoplex took a open source approach, maybe not from the initial start, but after it’s launched. It would be really neat for the community of Mysties who have programming experience to help support the Gizmoplex and volunteer their time not just in beta testing, but fixing the bugs they find. It would pull funds towards the development of content and would allow the gifts and talents of Mysties to make a platform for their love of MST3K.

I’m pretty new to open source, so I may be missing something, but what do you all think?


I don’t know much about open source at all, but would that mean that anyone could change anything they wanted to whenever or just that they could work on coding and have access to the site coding and make suggestions?

1 Like

Good question. Typically “open source” projects that have their codebase open for external users to contribute to fixing bugs or adding new content would mean using something like GitHub, where the code is hosted and available publically for anyone to pull the code, but the “master” code that is the code used for the app/site is protected by whoever is over the github account. If someone wanted to fix a bug or add to the site/app, it has to be approved by the owner of the GitHub account, or anyone who has permission given by the owner.

It does require some maintenance, obviously, but just like this forum, if we had volunteers and different levels of users, the community could manage the code base and protect the app/site in the process.


It has the benefit of volunteers who you don’t have to pay, offering solutions to the bugs you have listed for the public to fix, but there is the added responsibility of monitoring the *pull requests, which if you don’t have a big enough team to handle it, can get backed up.

A pull request is requesting for your solution and code you have written to be apart of the main codebase.


This is probably a better explanation.


Some are not for open source because someone could copy your ideas since your code is out in the public. But to me MST3K seems to be the perfect group to do Open source it follows the heart of “keep circulating the tapes”.


@Lesley have you all discussed Open Source by chance?

1 Like

Interesting! Thanks!

Not to my knowledge! On the surface, this is a really compelling idea, especially since I’ve already heard from several community members with loads of professional experience who want to offer their skills. As noted above though, the question is whether the administrative processes would be prohibitive.

I’ll direct the Gizmoplex development folks to this thread for sure though.


Awesome, thank you! I would be happy to volunteer my time as well! I have roughly 5 years of professional experience.


If the tech lined up with my experiences, I’d volunteer as well.


No. Not appropriate for this purpose.

Could you explain your reasons why not? I welcome anyone shooting down the idea, I am just curious why it’s not appropriate?

They would lose control of their Intellectual Property. Do they let just anyone write scripts? Build bots? Run the Production Office? No, they work with people that they know, and who have built up a reputation within the industry for being capable and trustworthy. Lesley is a good example: She spent years building up her cred running the fan site, and now she’s part of the crew.

You are asking them to turn over the keys to how they make their money to people they do not know and cannot control. Ask yourself whether you should be doing it, rather than if you could be doing it.

Open source and giving up your intellectual property aren’t one in the same. There are many ways of protecting your IP while also opening up your software to be open source for others to contribute.

Also, it’s far different then opening the doors to allow anyone to build bots and write the script. When you have a program and you have it hosted, you control who contributes and who doesn’t. That’s the maintenance that I brought up in this thread that many companies don’t feel is worth the hassle.

But there are many major corporations that are now opening up to the open source community, (Microsoft being one) and no intellectual properties are at risk.

Sure, someone could take pieces of your code base an mimick your work, but they can’t post to your platforms as you. Also, in the update they mentioned not building from scratch but building off of what others have written, literally using other code libraries. That’s the beauty of code being open an available.

I’m glad that there are those who are concerned about IP and gatekeeping a project. But contributing to a codebase is not just allowing anyone to write code and it’s done, there is still gatekeeping, but with open source you are exposing the codebase (or even part of the codebase) to the community to cut cost and allow others to fix bugs and or implement new features. In the end if a PR isn’t approved, nothing is adding to the codebase.


Also, it’s not really difficult for the development team to see quality work and enforce it. It would take a strategy up front, of course. But a developer wouldn’t blindly accept a pull request into the master branch, there are tools that show differences and allow you to test the code before it’s accepted.


Not sure you understand what open source coding is. I can guarantee you have used open-source content and didn’t even realise it. Android for example is open source.


So is Linux, which is what 99% of servers that host sites run on.

Its amazing what open source can do. The biggest reason that I feel like the Gizmoplex would be a good open source project is that the IP isn’t really the software itself but the content sold on the IP. Which both can be secured, the content hosted even more secured under IP rights.

1 Like

We know the Gizmoplex is being built out of various existing technologies. I’m sure SOME open source will be used for parts of it(if for nothing else certain javascript libraries used on the web version of it), but the VHX system used for the actual video streaming is closed source, IIRC. It will be impossible for it to be 100% open source simply because of that.


You are right. But I’m sure that there has to be some public API endpoints for that, and so they could still support a mostly open source code base.

1 Like