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A minimalist social network made from scratch

simpson (simple social network) is my attempt at creating a minimalist social networking software. It's really bare-bones, with as few features and as little bloat as possible.

I made it completely from scratch, using no frameworks at all, and only one database wrapper library.

simpson is entirely a "for the hell of it" kind of project. I made it for no reason and with no real goals in mind, and I don't assume anyone will ever see or want to use it.

I'm not hosting simpson myself, but you can if you want.

What simpson has

  • Users can post messages
  • Users can address messages to other users
  • Users can post replies to messages
  • Users can delete their own messages
  • Users have a name, an e-mail address, an avatar and a bio
  • Users get a summary of how much was posted since their last visit
  • Usable on mobile devices
  • Lightweight (something like 20KB)
  • Works without JavaScript! (JavaScript is only used for cosmetics and entirely optional)
  • Still vaguely usable even with CSS disabled!

What simpson doesn't have

  • No customizable feeds
  • No friends lists
  • No private messages
  • No markup or HTML in messages
  • No mentions or hashtags
  • No like/dislike system
  • No user groups
  • No notifications
  • No sharing
  • No apps
  • No ads


  • No state-of-the art architecture or best practices
  • Possibly messy code in a few places
  • Probably full of bugs
  • Probably even fuller of security holes

Installing simpson

  1. Reevaluate your life choices.
  2. Put all the files somewhere on your server (anything that runs PHP should work).
  3. Set up the database by running database.sql.
  4. Change the database configuration in inc/config/database.php.
  5. In inc/config/pages.php, set BASE_PATH to point to your simpson directory from your document root.
  6. simpson should now be up and running, I think!

License and usage and stuff

I don't presently care what becomes of simpson. Use it, fork it, improve it, no credit or anything required, be my guest.