Christmas for Taylor

Seasons greetings Laravellers!

It's been a wonderfully eventful year hasn't it? The 22nd of February saw the first conference for the Laravel framework held in Washington DC. The conference was a wonderful success with a wide range of topics, fantastic speakers and a rocking afterparty. Thanks to Ian Landsman of Userscape and Jessica D'Amico for making the event such a success.

On the 28th of May we saw the arival of version four of the framework. It was an entire overhaul of the framework that brought a great deal of flexibility without sacrificing the beautifully simple syntax that we know and love. Our userbase increased dramatically around this time, and the community has never been stronger.

The 30th of August saw the arrival of the first European conference for the framework, Laracon EU! With a mix of speakers from around the globe, and a beautiful location in the heart of Amsterdam the framework was a fantastic success. Thanks so much to Shawn McCool of Big Name, Jeroen Gerits and the Laracon EU team for all of their hard work.

This year also saw the launch of many exciting learning resources for the framework. We saw the release of the new Laravel website and documentation. The launch of the wonderful Laravel IO created by members of the community boasting news, a forum and a wiki.

We saw the launch of the fantastic Laracasts website by Jeffrey Way, containing a wealth of excellent screencasts to help learn the ins and outs of the framework.

Finally we were gifted with a number of great reads to help us improve our skills with the framework including Laravel: From Apprentice to Artisan by Taylor Otwell, Laravel: Testing Decoded by Jeffrey Way, Implementing Laravel by Chris Fidao, Getting Stuff Done with Laravel 4 by Chuck Heintzelman, Laravel 4 Cookbook by Christopher Pitt, Laravel in Action by Maksim Surguy and my own Code Bright. Thanks to everyone who supported the community by purchasing these wonderful titles.

Truly it has been a non-stop action packed year of success for Laravel. I often think back to when there were only three or four of us using the framework, and yet now we have hundreds of thousands of users and the community has never been stronger.

You all deserve a big pat on the back for helping to make the framework a success!

Of course, without one special person all of these exciting events would never have happened...

Taylor Otwell has given his free time to creating this amazing framework, spending the majority of this time adding a multitude of features and enhancements for our benefit while managing to remain a loving husband to his wife Abigail, and father to his children James and Victoria.

It's time to reward Taylor for all of his hard work. Over the past few years I've been lucky enough in having found a good friend in Taylor, and would like to use my knowledge of his tastes and hobbies to rally the community to raise some money for a seasonal gift or two this Christmas.

Let's all give a little and pull together to buy Taylor and his family some presents that will show greatful we are for all of his hard work.

You can paypal any donations that you would like to make to Taylor's christmas presents to Yes, I know it's a silly email, but I made it a long time ago! Get off my back okay ;).

Please leave a note on the transfer mentioning Taylors name. I will hold the funds until the 20th of December whereby appropriate presents will be purchased based upon the amount of donations received. All remaining funds will be donated directly to Taylor Otwell through paypal.

I have a few ideas in mind, and certainly will start the pot with a donation of my own, but feel free to email me with any ideas that you may have! I will keep a list of donations and names (and supply a message with your donation) to be posted on the site when the gifts are posted.

Hopefully with my position in the community you will not have a problem with me holding the funds until that time. It would be a career suicide for me to abuse such a position, and it would just be a dick move. Give me your trust and we will give Taylor Otwell a fantastic Christmas.

Once again, if you would like to donate to Taylor's christmas gift(s) then please click the donate button below, or paypal your donation to noting your name, Taylor's name and an optional message of thanks.

Thanks so much for reading this long article, let's make this a wonderful Christmas for our buddy. Taylor, thanks for being a great friend, and have a wonderful Christmas!