I am working on a software application and within that application are what I call actions. An action is an object with a few properties that describes a task that is to be performed or was performed. For example, "delete file X". They are stateful and could be in a new state, in-progress state, failed, successful, etc.. They can also include result data if they were executed.

Some actions happen within my application, and some are handed off to another application (i.e. external, over a network, to another machine). This is the aspect I am trying to capture and describe--the aspect for which I am trying to find a word. Specifically, where the action is executed: locally in my application (or, more generally, the application in which it originated) or externally on a remote machine. An action executed on a remote machine could be (should be) handed back to my application from the remote machine after it was processed, but I want to be able to know at some later time where it was executed, even though where it exists may be different, in a general sense (not the specific machine at which is was executed, just whether it was in my app or another one).

Conceptually, in my head, I think of an action as being a local or remote action, however I need a name to describe this property, this difference. That is, whether or not an action is local or remote, a name for that distinction. For example, "the ____ of the 'delete' action is 'local'" indicates it is executed by my application. I'm looking for a name for the property of an action which indicates whether it is processed locally, by my application, or remotely, by some other application.

My first thought was "locality" but that doesn't seem correct after looking it up. "Domain" seems too vague. "Destination" is probably the closest thing I've come up with, but execution isn't the final resting place for an action. Similarly, "termination" or "terminus" doesn't really fit because the action doesn't necessarily cease to exist after being executed (it might get sent elsewhere after execution).

P.S. If "orientation" indicates whether something was up or down, what is "orientation"? What type of word; what's it called when something describes a property or class or aspect of description of other words? It seems like it would be easier to ask my real question if I could say "I need a ______ that indicates local or remote". My Google-fu apparently isn't good enough for this one.

  • 2
    You've written a long question, which is good, but you appear to be asking for help naming something in software, which is off-topic according to our Help Center.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 21:58
  • I thought the term for running a routine in a software application is a "call." So a remote call is an out-call? ;-)
    – Xanne
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 23:07
  • Interesting, I didn't know that was considered off-topic; that's a shame. That removes just about all of the value of this site for me, personally. Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned why I was looking. Feel free to close this as off-topic.
    – Josh
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 23:14

5 Answers 5


One pair of adjectives that may be appropriate is distal/proximal. They are usually used in medical contexts, but also find application in geology and linguistics. The latter arena suggests that they would not be out of place in the context of a discussion of flows of information or control.


You can call your enum Execution and have Origin and Remote in it. A good alternative to Origin is just Local, but Origin seems more fit as it's where the action originates from.

Alternatively just set a boolean value to true when it's remote: bool remote = true;


You could consider "placement".

An example of this term being used in a similar manner to your description is "Thread and Memory Placement on NUMA Systems"

(NUMA has local and "foreign" memory access)


Probably it's not what you're looking for :

In basic language, there is gosub - return A branch allows to exit from the main program to execute a subroutine, for example to check a condition for the execution of the program or the keystroke of a key.


Process ?

  1. Computers a. A running software program or other computing operation. b. A part of a running software program or other computing operation that does a single task. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/process
  • 1
    "Process" doesn't mean what the OP is asking.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 22:50
  • The action itself could be called a process, but "process" doesn't describe the fact that it's local or remote. Sorry if that I was looking for wasn't clear.
    – Josh
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 23:07

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