I Made This: Introducing Seevooplay

screenshot of Seevooplay in action

screenshot of Seevooplay in action (unthemed)

Today I’m officially introducing a bit of software I crafted earlier this year. Seevooplay is a web app for online invitations and RSVPs, geared toward self-hosters. Throwing a party? Don’t give all your friends’ email addresses to Evite. Don’t expect your friends to be on Facebook. Embrace the indieweb, kick the corporate middleman to the curb, and let your copy of Seevooplay (running on your own website) send email invitations and collect responses for you! That’s the pitch, anyway.

Seevooplay is written in Python on the Django framework. It can be easily integrated into any existing Django site or project, but can also run as a standalone app.

I wrote Seevooplay specifically to scratch a personal itch. My old website, which launched in 2003, had Evite-like functionality provided by an ancient 2000-line Perl script called DaVite. I can’t say the script got heavy use, because I only throw a party every once in a blue moon. But when I do, I want electronic convenience when it comes to getting the word out and hearing back, dammit! And I don’t like giving my friends’ addresses to third parties. And there is no way in hell I will use Facebook for this purpose — many of my friends have abandoned the platform anyway. So a self-hosted solution feels right, but DaVite is long-abandoned and unfit for the web of the 2020s, and I couldn’t find a modern alternative.

So I did what any self-respecting web developer would do: I built my own.

You’ll see from the screenshot that Seevooplay doesn’t look very pretty straight out of the box. That’s partly due to intention, and partly due to laziness. My own personal intention is to integrate Seevooplay into mahnamahna.net, which already has a look-and-feel of its own. So Seevooplay is designed to melt into an existing Django site (looks-wise) if you’ve got one. If you don’t, you’ll need to add a look-and-feel on your own, or hack on the generic theme that Seevooplay ships with; I’m too lazy to spend time beautifying a theme I never intend to use, and I’m not attempting to productize this thing.

On that note, Seevooplay is free software because I believe that software is like science: Its transformative power is magnified when it is done in the open and shared freely. If you discover Seevooplay and find it useful, I would get a kick out of hearing from you.

Finally, a word on the name. I was going to call it Houseparty; then I discovered there’s already a Django app using that name. So I went with my (silly? annoying?) second choice, Seevooplay, which will probably prove more Googleable in the long run anyhow.

Head over to GitHub for more technical info, more screenshots, or to download the app.

Now I suppose I need to throw a party.