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I would like to set up a simple forum for a small number of users. The features I would like are the following, in order of priority:

  • logging on not compulsory for posting.
  • A single thread. All the messages are immediately visible - no need to "open" them.
  • most recent message at the top by default.
  • The ability to upload photos.

Chatango is the closest thing I've found so far, but its a little bit buggy and the maximum message size is rather restricted.

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closed as off topic by slhck Jan 14 '13 at 21:14

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A weekend with PHP? – Phoshi Nov 15 '09 at 14:06
Or a weekend with Drupal as well! – dag729 Jan 14 '10 at 17:07
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Have you tried SMF? you would need a few modifications to add features but this should meet your requirements

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phpBB fulfills all of your requirements. As of phpBB 3.0 post sorting (your third requirement) is now supported as well. phpBB is free and open source, you can find themes for it all over the internet.

You will need to do a bit of configuring in the admin panel for your requirements though. For the second requirement for example, you will need to create 1 forum with 1 topic inside it, and disallow users to create new topics. That way they can only reply on one thread.

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I don't think you can force phpbb to have the messages "open", i.e. see the contents of the last few at a glance without having to click on the "subjects" one at a time. – Mick Nov 15 '09 at 8:13
You'd only have one thread though. You can configure your site to always redirect to that thread. – John T Nov 15 '09 at 8:15

You can also look at PHPNuke. It runs with PHPBB but allows for easier expansion and CMS.

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