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I've checked couple dozens popular boilerplates (react, react-native, nodejs) and neither of them are forks from other boilerplates.

  1. Am i missing something? why are people writing them from scratch instead of forking?

  2. Say, i want to create own boilerplate, because other are not specialized enough for needs of my company. This boilerplate will be maintained by my employees only (or "almost only"). This boilerplate will remain open-sourced. Do i have to start from scratch reinventing this wheel, or i can just fork existing repo and build on top of it? are there any sort of limitations in such approach?

  3. i don't like "Forked from" sign, because in vast majority of cases it means "forked, added couple of commits and that's all", which is not the case for me - it will be modified quite a lot. So, is it ok, if i'll git clone, change repo address and put it to own repo?

  4. may be i can remove the whole .git, delete all references to original developers along with the part of this code that doesn't suit my needs and publish the result as my own boilerplate? That doesn't sound fair though. Anyways, is this allowed for MIT-licensed repos? i'm confused, because this is the explicitly suggested "way to go" to start build on top of many repos.

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    Whether they used copy/paste function, retyped the boilerplate by hand, or used "Fork" to copy the old code does not matter from a licensing perspective. Copying is copying. – Brandin Oct 11 '17 at 7:16
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  1. Am i missing something? why are people writing them from scratch instead of forking?

No idea. This may be something specific to the JS realm. Python boilerplate projects tend to be forked heavily

  1. Say, i want to create own boilerplate, because other are not specialized enough for needs of my company. This boilerplate will be maintained by my employees only (or "almost only"). This boilerplate will remain open-sourced. Do i have to start from scratch reinventing this wheel, or i can just fork existing repo and build on top of it? are there any sort of limitations in such approach?

You can do as you please! that's the beauty of FLOSS.

  1. i don't like "Forked from" sign, because in vast majority of cases it means "forked, added couple of commits and that's all", which is not the case for me - it will be modified quite a lot. So, is it ok, if i'll git clone, change repo address and put it to own repo?

Sure thing. Whatever works for you is fine.

  1. may be i can remove the whole .git, delete all references to original developers along with the part of this code that doesn't suit my needs and publish the result as my own boilerplate? That doesn't sound fair though. Anyways, is this allowed for MIT-licensed repos? i'm confused, because this is the explicitly suggested "way to go" to start build on top of many repos.

"remove the whole .git" history is fine and allowed for MIT-licensed repos and all open source licenses I can think of.... You do not have to keep history but not keeping it is an heresy from an engineering point of view IMHO. Note that some licenses (such as the Apache or L/GPL licenses) demand some change tracking: having a clean history is always useful for this.

"delete all references to original developer" would be an absolute NO-NO and a likely violation of the terms of many licenses, including the MIT. This has nothing to do about fairness, but respecting the license terms if you want to be licensed for the code you reuse.

"the explicitly suggested "way to go" to start build on top of many repos."... you can do ass you please, as long as you comply with thhe original licensing terms.

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Ownership of the base is the main reason. Many people like to create things from their own mind and imagination and are proud of the efforts they involve in doing so. The main way to express yourself and your hard work would be to write your own.

However, there is no shame in Forking and using someone else's base for a platform to build your own. It saves a lot of framework development time. It is always nice to give the base engine developer credit in your project and they appreciate it when you do. In fact, it is a requirement in almost all cases...

This is what OpenSource is all about, a collaborative design where we all have learned something from each other.

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