I have a question about what’s best to do, and I suspect this question may be better answered by individual library authors (in this case @josevalim, @mcrumm, @archdragon, @chrismccord and others), and I could have asked privately but it could be useful to others too in future so asking here.
I really like the set up for the infrastructure, for the tests, assets etc. of Phoenix LiveDashboard. If I wanted to use that code in my (open source or otherwise) library, that has completely different UI, logic etc., I could do several things:
Start fresh and copy over files, retaining the copyright notice. I think that’s minimum what’s required by MIT license.
Fork the repository/copy it over retaining Git history, make a commit that removes everything excpet bits I need, retain copyright notice.
Do what 2) does but maybe squash the whole history into single commit.
Add attribution & copyright notice not (or not only) on the README but in the copied files themselves.
My main concern with doing 1 is that usually the full list of contributors is not included in the copyright notice, and yet they hold copyright for their contributions and somewhat deserve attribution. Git commit history preserves that.
But then, if someone looked at the library that’s a fork and has hundreds of commits from @josevalim, while he actually has nothing to do with the library itself and never ever considered it, people start poking him over GH Issues to answer questions etc. as if he was the main author, something that surely is not desired either.
How do you think one should proceed in such case, when you want to take just the bits of the library (or libraries) and use it for set up / infrastructure for your own library, rather than taking and forking the core functionality of the library itself?