There's a lot of interesting stuff that comes when thinking about these kinds of templates from the level of fully-baked products instead of just lower-level components like frameworks and libraries. Excited to see where Github is headed with all of these recent feature releases.
 - https://gokoji.com
 - https://stackoverflow.com/jobs/companies/koji-web-app-develo...
Templating is basically the same thing, but it's more like clone a repository, delete the .git folder, run git init, and then associate the repo with your account. Except this all happens transparently on Github's servers and what you end up with is a clean new project with an "initial commit".
So in a sense whether you fork or template, you're still cloning a repo, but what happens after you clone is different in each case (and is also different from "just" cloning).
Yes, it does sacrifice some learning about git, but once you get someone hooked on programming they will be able to learn the tools later.
Cloning is a word document with versions turned on that copied all the previous versioning information
- Pre-commit hooks for linting/formatting and unit tests.
- Basic CI pipeline configuration with at least build, test and release/deploy phases.
- Package installation configuration for the frameworks you want.
- Container/VM configuration for the languages you want to enable cross-platform and future-proof development.
- Documentation to get started with it all.
I'd be curious to see how composability works with this, too: if for instance I wanted to make a React+Rails boilerplate, it'd be awesome if users could cherry-pick a commit to use it with their Bugsnag+Rails boilerplate.
Not a GitHub template, but hits a lot of the same use cases.