I am designing a Knowledge base system for automotive terms and issues.. I have to define reference term in my database for each element in web admin panel(CMS) And I am a bit lost with finding a proper generic term for an item which consists of the Knowledge Base usually.

So the question is what a generic Knowledge Base consisting of? (Is that correct question?)

Is it an article? A topic? An item? A subject?

Firstly I thought to use "item" but to me an Item is something real.. something you can touch..

So I though a term "article" would be more close..

But article is kind of mmm... too article.. hehe :) I don't how to correctly describe what I don't like about it.

So my best bet would be probably on "Topic"

Then all elements would be referenced as "Topic Image", "Topic Title", "Topic Description"

Does that make sense?

EDIT: The purpose of the question is not how to name my functions or IDs in my program design, but more about a proper term usage and their correct meaning for each particular case.. So I believe this question is more about english grammar and terminology rather than UX or programming. In this topic I am trying to learn the usage of these terms. And in future apply this knowledge in different areas such as conversations, writings, and programming.

My apology if it looks too confusing at first.

  • 2
    I'd probably call each element that can be separately searched for and displayed an entry or item. If they're bigger (a screenfull or more, perhaps) I might be more inclined to go for article or topic. But I think this question itself might well be Off Topic, since it appears to be asking about a suitable name for a programming variable/database field. Jan 8, 2014 at 0:06
  • I am sorry if made you think it is more for programming.. My bad.. It is indeed for programming as well.. but the question is not about programming, but more about how properly to use terms in described above context. It's probably more for User Experience as those terms will be visible to public as well.. and the meaning of the fields has to be correct and define exactly what is for.. Hope that makes sense..
    – Alex Reds
    Jan 8, 2014 at 0:42
  • This question appears to be off-topic because it is about user interface elements. ux.stackexchange.com would likely be a better place for it. Jan 8, 2014 at 4:20
  • J.T. UX guys would help me with way of implementing those elements, but not with grammar and real meaning of terms..
    – Alex Reds
    Jan 8, 2014 at 18:52

2 Answers 2


For a knowledge-based system that is intended to reason and draw conclusions, the information it contains are called facts.

But if your knowledge-based system is intended to serve as a repository of manuals, procedures, policies, best practices, reusable designs and code, etc., you might be more comfortable with records or documents.

Source: Wikipedia: Knowledge Base

  • thanks for your input. Appreciate that. I saw that article (I presume that's a proper term for each page on wikipedia?), but frankly it was a bit hard for me to digest all info in there at first :) Thanks for sum it up for me here.
    – Alex Reds
    Jan 8, 2014 at 19:51
  • 1
    I am more and more understand that the answer more depends on the content my KB is going to hold. Have to sit and think more about it..
    – Alex Reds
    Jan 8, 2014 at 19:55

As a programmer, I do consider elements in a database or array things I can touch. In fact, the program is picking them up, moving them about, creating and destroying the things all the time.

So since the "thing" in your system you are manipulating is fairly generic and will have adjective prefixes added to it, shorter is better.

I'd go with 'Item'

  • I think this is the right answer for what the UI should show to the user (entry would also be fine by me). I'd probably call the database element something a bit more specific at the system development level (topic seems reasonable there), but so far as I'm concerned, variables and database field names are off topic. Jan 8, 2014 at 12:34
  • Yeah seem it was my big mistake to mention database.. I was in hurry and haven't time to think properly how to present my question in more appropriate way.. My apology guys, didn't want to create off topic..
    – Alex Reds
    Jan 8, 2014 at 19:00
  • @FumbleFingers, I hear you.. I just didn't expect here would so much guys who knows about programming and difference between presentation level and logic in design :) And I like your last sentence about term "topic" In my case it sounds more and more suitable.
    – Alex Reds
    Jan 8, 2014 at 19:37
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    @Alex: Despite my first comment, I personally never actually closevoted - and I wouldn't have even suggested it might be off topic if I hadn't been looking at the "pre-edit" version. Oldcat might think different, but I've never been happy with calling variables/fields names like item, num, str, flag, etc. Probably because in the context of code there are often several different objects you need to keep track of, all of which could potentially contain an "item". But at the UI/UX level, often there's only one "item" or "entry" of current significance, so it's okay to call "it" that. Jan 8, 2014 at 21:52

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