I have contemplated about making the server code open source – under the GPL which would prevent commercial usage.
Why would I give access to anyone?
Well, first of all, I have given access to the code to other people in the past. I have somewhat tried to “guard” it by giving access to very few selected people only however. There was a success rate of about 50% of people actually contributing valuable code to the server.
Why give access to everyone?
There is a huge difference between having to ask for access, talking with me why one is capable of dealing with it or just being able to go somewhere and take a look. I have contributed over the years to many open source PHP projects simply because I did not have to ask anyone if I could participate in the project.
Would not someone copy Uncovery 1:1?
Theoretically yes, practically no. Running this server is more than just the code. It’s a bit the same issue as two people having the same camera, they would not WANT to take the exact same photo. The server represents how I want to run it, and that is expressed in the code – partly. A lot of other things are in the rules and the dynamics of the settings, and what features we use. Another server admin might not want to have the users be upgraded by voting and so on.
Further, the code being open source does not mean that there is an easy way to replicate it 1:1 since there is (currently) no installation package of any kind. There is a lot of work needed for someone to be able to use the code as it is for their own server.
The main reason
I want to get more people involved in the code and the future or the server. If there are other server admins which want to learn from the code (it’s not that great of a quality in my opinion, but they can still learn from my mistakes :) or help making it better in any way, I think we all can benefit from that.