In 1999, when Dries Buytaert started to develop Drupal, her idea was first to build a discussion forum. He then gradually added features: blogs, RSS feeds, notations; until Drupal becomes the current powerful CMS. Its origins of forum allow him to integrate this functionality almost by default to the deployment of the site. Its management is done in a transparent way thanks to the features of management and moderation of comments.
Some of the Drupal configuration settings are stored by default in the database - views, site variables, panels, or custom fields. The handling of these elements is tricky when it comes to a site in production. With the Features module, a developer can group the associated parameters and export them to the code. The exported code is downloaded as a module called a "feature" and added to the database - and can be moved between servers, allowing revisions to be tracked. A revolution for teamwork on Drupal projects!
The Freeze Code represents the date that sets the functional perimeter of the next version of Drupal, except for special exemptions. At this date, most of the community's effort is to fix the bugs and improve the usage. This is the time when Contributed Module maintainers can start working on updating their code for the next version of Drupal.
A fork, or branching, is a new software created from the source code of an existing software. A fork may be born as a result of diverging viewpoints or objectives among developers - it is a kind of schism. There is a promising Drupal Fork: [backdropcms.org] (https://backdropcms.org/).