Re: #ontology Can we come up with a better term than "Flow Object"? #ontology

Andreas Ciroth

Thank you Chris; I agree and would add that ‘Flow-object’ is also not too perfect. No other element is called “object”. And exchange just says: see flow.

Proposal from my side:

  • Flow object is changed to flow
  • Exchange takes the definition of flow
  • Flow is removed.

This without being aware of previous discussions, so please excuse if I am ignorant here..

All the best,



Von: <> Im Auftrag von Chris Mutel
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 3. April 2019 11:07
Betreff: [bonsai] #ontology Can we come up with a better term than "Flow Object"?


Not trying to start a flame war or anything, but "flow object" is just... not great. It is inconsistent with all our other core terms, it rolls off the tongue like a porcupine, and I guarantee you that it will produce a confused look on 80% of the faces of people who see it for the first time.

The problem is that "flow" is good, but has no natural counterpart (aside from "flow"...). One possibility would be to switch to "flow" and "exchange" - I am sure this was considered and rejected at some point, however. We define "flow object" as:

Entity that is able to be exchanged between two activities, produced or consumed by activities, or stored by a (stock accumulation) activity. This is one of the identifying dimensions of a datapoint (and the database).

"Entity" is probably too loose, as is "object". "Flux" is a bit too cute, and too similar to "flow." What about "item"? It encapsulates the idea that every thing we want to track would be an item instance. One definition is "an individual article or unit, especially one that is part of a list, collection, or set," which fits pretty well. Or maybe someone else has a creative idea? There are lots of online thesaurus sites out there :)

If there is previous discussion on this, please post links - it is hard to get much from the wiki history.

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