7

I'm trying to set up a naming convention for some software I'm working on, and I need a name for the thing that people subscribe to. In my model we have:

  • Subscriber (a person)
  • Subscription (the 'link' between the person and the thing being subscribed to.
  • ??? (The thing that the person has subscribed to).

In this case, ??? needs to be some generic name. I'm currently using 'Series', but that's not self-explanatory, and is also somewhat painful (in the software environment I'm using) as the singular and plural is the same.

As an analogy, we might have:

  • Employee (the person who is employed)
  • Employment (the position/role of the person)
  • Employer (the company or person providing the position)

Except that 'employment' is continuous, and I need a discrete term: the subscriber receives a series of individual 'things' as part of their subscription, rather than a recurring payment for a continuous service.

  • 1
    In the library world, they would be called serials, singular serial, or periodical(s). – 1006a Mar 20 '17 at 15:07
  • 1
    I have never heard of a subscriband, but why not? – GEdgar Mar 20 '17 at 15:07
  • 1
    Anything beginning with 'sub' is going to sound off. The act of subscribing is, etymologically speaking writing beneath it, signing it at the bottom, underwriting it, So you want a word for the thing which is above the writing below it. etymonline.com/index.php?term=subscribe Surscription? Which means it is whatever it would be if no-one subscribed, if you see what I mean. It just is what it is. – Spagirl Mar 20 '17 at 15:13
  • Perhaps simply "Subject"? – mahmud koya Mar 20 '17 at 15:26
  • "Serial" or "Periodical" expresses what I'm after - but it seems a bit ... old-fashioned, I guess. 1006a - if you make this an answer, I'll accept it if no one else has any other flashes of brilliance. Thanks! – Beejamin Mar 20 '17 at 15:43
6

One normally subscribes to a Service - whether that be the provision of a monthly magazine, the the provision of technical support, the provision of access to a particular website, etc..

service
1. [mass noun] The action of helping or doing work for someone.
1.1 [count noun] An act of assistance.
1.2 Assistance or advice given to customers during and after the sale of goods.

  • In my case I want to express that the subscribe receives 'a series of things' via their subscription (rather than something continuous like a service). Sorry - my Employee/Employer analogy probably isn't the best. Thanks anyway - Service would work in a lot of cases, though. – Beejamin Mar 20 '17 at 15:46
  • So...use the plural: services. The term is still applicable. – AleksandrH Mar 20 '17 at 15:51
  • Being sent "a series of things" is still a service. A service does not have to be continuous: it can be a monthly or periodic service; it can be a service provided for a fixed period of time; etc.. – TrevorD Mar 20 '17 at 15:51
  • 2
    Why don't you want to call that a service? The service is the monthly delivery of a choice of wines. – TrevorD Mar 21 '17 at 0:03
  • 1
    @Beejamin Now you've changed the Q.! Anyway, if - as you now say - the software is to be used for other services, then you need a generic name for the field, namely "service" and the data contained within that field will differentiate the wine service from the other services. – TrevorD Mar 21 '17 at 23:50
3

Publisher. It maps nicely to real world subscribers who receive subscriptions to periodicals from publishers. And the general pattern is known as the Publish-subscribe pattern.

  • That's not bad, but not quite right, I don't think. I'm familiar with the pub-sub pattern. I feel like the 'Publisher' is the entity that provides (outputs) the thing that you subscribe to - that is, the subscriber and the publisher are the 'people' at each end. In pub-sub terms, I think I'm talking about the 'channel' . Actually... channel could work. Thank you! – Beejamin May 10 '17 at 1:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.