@jducoeur, I mostly agree with you in every point, there is always potential for the good and for the bad.
As humans are naturally political animals, we should always keep an eye for the traps as you mentioned.
I'm sure you have a lot to collaborate to the discussion, maybe adding insights from your experience with collaborative systems.
In my opinion, some politics and subjectivity, or even ambiguity is unavoidable. The trick is to find the balance that allows success and for that we would need to define what is success in the first place.
For me, the risk of failure comes from improper expectation management, so when things don't happen as expected, people get frustrated and sometimes good results are perceived as complete failures.
My idea was originally going towards a democratic process. It might be a wrong expectation from my side, but I feel that Scala (as with some other languages) attracts a whole bunch of very smart people, so if I say something like "Innovation" I really expect people to indicate innovative work, and not some old library that received a minor fix.
Although technology wise Scala has a pretty mature ecosystem, I feel that the community is lacking a bit more of engagement and one of the motivations behind this awards is to change that. A democratic process seams to me the best way to achieve that.
If every step in designing this is done in the open (considering that the idea does move forward) I believe we lower the chances of someone being upset for not winning, unless we manage to repeat the Envelopegate situation that happened in the last Oscars
The idea is not really a competition but more of a celebration.
If anyone has some argument to expose against a democratic process, why it would be bad, or why a more formal academy style process would be better please say so, otherwise maybe we could start discussing what would be the success criteria for this idea and what a democratic process would look like to achieve that, hopefully covering the concerns about politics, popularity contest vs actual judgment criteria and so on.
What about the following (draft/first thoughts/non final) success criteria:
- Having the process defined and implemented during 2017
- The first winners announced in Scala Days 2018
- The awards being transmitted live on YouTube and permanently available there afterwards