I want to expresss below 2 concepts in simple terms, especially the bold parts:

  • A and all the things A depends on.

  • A and all the things that depend on A.

Is there any special term or single word can be used? I guess there may be something similar to the pattern of employer and employee. Thanks.


The scenario is like this:

  • A is a computer program module.
  • A depends on one group of modules to run.
  • And another group of modules depend on A to run.
  • Can you elaborate on what you mean by depends? What is the nature of the dependency relationship? Is it a taxonomy or class hierarchy? Is it group dynamics? Is it an economic interdependency? An ecosystem? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 23 '17 at 10:00
  • 1
    You could say "modules that refer to A" and "modules A refers to". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 23 '17 at 10:13
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    A and all its dependents. – Lambie Sep 10 '19 at 1:17

First of all: welcome!

In programming (like you surely know) there are some common names for modules, like 'classes', 'bundles', 'namespaces', 'libraries', 'packages' ....

In my opinion you need to find out, what is the most appropriate word in relation to your programming language or software development paradigm! Then it will be easy for you to pick the right term.

When I read your post for the first time object oriented programming came to my mind. If this is the case, then 'parent class' or 'parent package' ('A and its corresponding parent packages / classes') will be pretty appropriate, I guess. Your second scenario would be 'A and all of its subclasses'.

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