Minutes of the 17th meeting of the Scala Center, Q2 2020

Minutes are archived on the Scala Center website.


The following agenda was distributed to attendees: agenda.

This was Stu Hood’s last meeting as chairperson. The board elected Adriaan Moors (Lightbend) as his successor. (The chairperson position is currently expected to rotate annually.)

Other board changes: SAP has left the board. 47 Degrees is now represented by Maureen Elsberry, director of marketing.

Scala Center activities for the past quarter focused on MOOCs, BSP in sbt, JSR-45 support for Scala 2, multiple projects Scala 3 error message, improving ABI compatibility between Scala 3 and Scala 2, sbt plugins for dependency management (sbt-eviction-rule and sbt-compatibility), Scalafix, TASTy Reader, Metals, Scala Native, Scala.js, scalajs-bundler, Scaladex, the Scala.js webpack plugin, conferences, and blog posts. Scala Days 2020 is canceled. An individual donor has contributed funds to support work on Scala Native.

Staffing: the Scala Center’s 10-member team has remained mostly stable. Ergys Dona is leaving his position as engineer at the Scala Center to become a PhD student in Martin’s lab instead. His position will become open shortly, and a new position in the Education department will be added. Alexandre Archambault and Eugene Yokota are being retained as short-term contractors.

More details on these activities are in Darja’s report and Seb’s report. Darja’s report focuses on project management, communication, and team expansion (hiring and diversifying).

One proposal was discussed:

  • SCP-024: Diversity Initiatives (Maureen Elsberry and Oli Makhasoeva, 47 Degrees)

The proposal was voted on and accepted.

Date, Time and Location

The meeting took place virtually on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 3:00pm (UTC).

Minutes were taken by Seth Tisue (secretary). No recording of the meeting was made, so these minutes are less detailed than usual.



  • Stu Hood (chairperson), Twitter
    • also board member, representing Twitter
  • Darja Jovanovic (executive director), EPFL
  • Sébastien Doeraene (technical director), EPFL
  • Martin Odersky (technical advisor), EPFL
  • Seth Tisue (secretary), Lightbend

Board members:

  • Chris Kipp, Lunatech
  • James Belsey, Morgan Stanley
  • Maureen Elsberry, 47 Degrees
  • Adriaan Moors, Lightbend
  • Rob Norris, community/Typelevel
  • Krzysztof Romanowski, VirtusLab
  • Julien Tournay, Spotify
  • Bill Venners, community/Artima


  • Jorge Galindo Cruces, 47 Degrees
  • Ólafur Páll Geirsson, Twitter


  • Graham Griffiths, Goldman Sachs


Stu introduced the meeting, took roll call, and had Maureen (the new 47 Degrees representative) introduce herself.

Activities report

Seb and Darja summarized Scala Center activities since the last meeting.

Most of their remarks were based on their reports:

The following notes are a supplement to the reports.

Seb said they hope the new “Effective Programming in Scala” MOOC will be ready around the end of the year. It will target Scala 3.

He said that although substantial progress has been made on BSP support in sbt, “there is still a lot of work to be done to gain parity with Metals-via-Bloop”, but “we can make this work.”

Financial report

This was presented by Seb.

The Center’s financial status is “the same” and “more or less stable” except that SAP has left the board. It is unclear what ongoing impact the pandemic may yet have on the Center’s ability to attract and retain board members.

Community feedback

Neither Bill nor Rob had new community feedback to raise. Rob said he was “super happy” with the Center’s progress this quarter.


SCP-024: Diversity initiatives

This was initially proposed and discussed a quarter ago by Oli Makhasoeva of 47 Degrees, then postponed for edits based on feedback from the board. The final version was submitted by Maureen Elsberry, the new 47 Degrees representative. She said that one goal of the proposal is to “provide education to underrepresented groups who wouldn’t typically have access to the resources that are out there currently”.

Voting: The proposal is accepted, with all members present voting in favor.


For chairperson, the nominees were Adriaan Moors (Lightbend), Chris Kipp (Lunatech), James Belsey (Morgan Stanley), Stu Hood (Twitter). Stu withdrew his nomination because his one-year term is up. James Belsey said he was unable to accept.

For technical advisor, the nominees were Martin Odersky (EPFL) and Ólafur Páll Geirsson (Twitter).

For secretary, the only nominee was Seth Tisue (Lightbend).

The outcome of voting was as follows:

  • chairperson: Adriaan Moors
  • technical advisor: Martin Odersky
  • secretary: Seth Tisue

Other business

Status of VirtusLab

As discussed at several previous meetings, the Center is interested in having VirtusLab become a full board member, with voting rights, by contributing engineering effort rather than funds.

As Darja explained, formally this could be considered to require amending the Center’s “documents and contracts”, which could be time-consuming, especially the process of re-authorizing the changed contract with members’ legal departments.

After some discussion, there were no objections to granting VirtusLab this status. If other companies become interested, the question of revising the contract should be re-raised.

Krzysztof: “We are honored.”

Diversity on the advisory board

The question was raised: in the spirit of the newly accepted proposal on improving diversity in the Scala community, could we also increase the diversity in the advisory board itself?

But it’s unclear how this might be accomplished. Stu suggested that the Center could “informally request” that companies with board seats take this into account when naming their representatives, choosing when possible to send someone who is involved in the company’s own diversity initiatives. There was also some discussion about maybe adding a dedicated seat on the board for this, but this idea wasn’t taken up.

Bill noted that the community representative seats haven’t rotated in a while, and this issue could be taken in account the next time that happens. (There was some inconclusive discussion about when that might happen.)

Martin: “A company could have multiple delegates and rotate who comes to the meeting.” Darja seconded the idea. James: “I could step down and have one of the talented diverse engineers at Morgan Stanley represent us.” Someone mentioned that too much rotation could damage continuity on the board.

Chris asked about ScalaBridge, which hasn’t come up in a while. Seth wondered if ScalaBridge currently has leadership, and also if wondered if they’ve been impacted by the pandemic making in-person events impossible. Darja said there has been activity recently in both London and New York. There was some inconclusive discussion about whether the Center ought to become more directly involved.

James asked whether the Center could make recommendations about the use of language such as “blacklist” and “master/slave” in open-source projects. Darja said a proposal in this area would be welcome.

Scala 3 work

Darja said that Scala Center is becoming increasingly involved with work on Scala 3, and she wanted to know if the board objected to this work going forward. Should the Center solicit new proposals in this area?

Seth observed that SCP-002 could be considered broad enough to cover the work being done.

Stu said that “avoiding the formality” of further, more specific proposals seemed unnecessary. There were no objections or concerns raised by other board members.


Stu will follow up with Adriaan about handing over the responsibility for organizing the next meeting, to be held virtually, probably in late September or October.