disclaimer - I havent used it - but I can see the motivation.
I think it could be useful. Its almost like a subroutine (and almost wish it had been called node-red-contrib-subroutine).
2 benefits I see over subflow is it easier to setup & you can see node-statuses etc (as nodes are on the main flow not in a hidden instance).
1 downside is you still have the flows somewhere on a tab unlike the subflow (which is a nice neat self contained unit). (no biggie TBH)
I may have more constructive feedback once I install it and give it a go. however, at this point, I have not installed it as I can achieve most things with link nodes and / or subflows - but I will keep it in mind when I next need simple subflow-like functionality.
I thought that at first too but I believe the difference is that it only returns to the output of the calling "component" node where as a link node would return to all linked nodes & you would need a topic it other means for understanding/routing the return of used multiple times.
Think of a subroutine call where the gosub return returns to that caller only with the result of the subroutine calculation.
PS, if i were pushed for alternative naming, it'd be...
node-red-contrib-components --> node-red-contrib-subroutine
comp start --> Subroutine Define
comp return --> Subroutine Return
use comp --> Subroutine Call
sorry I missed this conversation. I saw regular downloads, but until now did not really expect a discussion. Thanks to @Steve-Mcl, I learned, that people do use my nodes, so I have to bring some more focus to the forum.
It makes me think, that some (or most?) of you did not understand the purpose / intention of node-red-contrib-components. I tried to explain all of that in the readme. But obviously that was either too long or not clear enough.
Did you check out node-red-contrib-actionflows before? That was the node, I used a lot, until it occured to me, that their understanding of interface was not mine. But still, it is a widely used set of nodes and well done.
I am very pleased to see you guys being interested and I would love to discuss, how components could be improved and be made more useful.
Starting with @Steve-Mcl suggesting a renaming, I invite you to talk about that in a separate thread: