Talk:Finite

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made this page a dab[edit]

My feeling is that articles whose titles are adjectives ordinarily need to be disambiguation pages, unless there's only one context in which the adjective can be used (as would be the case for, say, Infinity-Borel, but is certainly not the case for "finite"). This is a bare stub right now; though. There are lots of meanings for "finite", and it's linked to all over the place. I personally do not plan to go through and figure out what meaning is being used in what article. Hopefully, editors that follow the link will link to the right place when they find this dab page, and also add bullet points for the meaning desired. --Trovatore 22:04, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

This isn't a very helpful disambiguation page, because most of the bullet points don't actually disambiguate to a page that talks about that specific definition of "finite". For example, I hadn't encountered the concept that zero might not be a considered a "finite number", but the disambiguation link doesn't help here. (Presumably this is a specific definition used by mathematicians specifically in a context where they are talking about the set of all real numbers that have a multiplicative inverse.) 217.140.96.21 (talk) 10:57, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

This funky definition is not used by mathematicians, but by physicists. The page is on the borderline of violating WP:DICTDEF.—Emil J. 13:29, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, there is that. I have the first edit in this page's history, but I wouldn't see it as any great loss if it were deleted. The only practical problem is that people are going to link the word finite from time to time, and if it comes up red, they're likely to recreate the page. Nor is there any unique place to redirect. --Trovatore (talk) 19:34, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting to delete it, it's a far too obvious a search term. However, I think we should omit all those various meanings of the term without dedicated articles, and trim it down to a true disambiguation page. As I see it, there are only two items on the list that are standalone concepts with their own articles, and are plausible to be searched for (or linked to) using just "finite": finite set and finite verb. I'd also keep the heading with the link to infinity. The stuff about real numbers does not have an article in the need of disambiguation, and is mentioned in the infinity article anyway. Finite-state automaton is just one of loads of mathematical concepts that involve finite objects; there's no reason to expect that it should be reachable from finite, just like one does not expect to find yellow fever by entering yellow. The death stuff is a pure WP:DICTDEF.—Emil J. 11:51, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Well... disambig pages are not only for readers who are searching for articles; they're also for editors who are looking to make an imprecise link in a given article more specific (as the notice says, "you may wish to change the link to point directly to the intended article"). Thus, we should be considering what editors will actually be describing as finite when they link here. However, as pointed out above, there are a great many objects in mathematics (and related fields) that may be referred to as "finite", and we can't realistically link to them all. So I would recommend boiling down the different (mathematical) senses of "finite" to two fundamental ones: finite in the countable sense ("finite set", "finite graph", etc. — that is, anything that can be related to a finite set of objects in some way) and finite in the "non-countable" sense of a quantity that is a real number (e.g., "finite area", "finite limit", etc.), which is not related to a countable set in any intuitive way (although, of course, it is possible). Unfortunately, simply referring people to infinity to cover this latter sense is somewhat problematic, as that article immediately starts talking about treating infinity like a number. In light of all this, I've re-added the sense of a finite number or value and linked it to real number. (Actually, I'm still not completely happy with the page, so it might change again....) - dcljr (talk) 08:03, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Finite articles[edit]

As I said in my last comment above, I still don't like the stripped-down version of this disambig page. It just doesn't seem to give much useful information, IMO. So I've gone through the (non-redirect) articles whose titles begin with "Finite", classifying them into the 3 main connotations I see for the term. This isn't all of them (the rest didn't seem worth listing for various reasons), but it still covers more than we probably want to link to. Since I don't have more time at the moment to continue developing this into a useful disambig page, I'm just dumping it here. Hopefully I'll be back soon to work on it some more... - dcljr (talk) 10:46, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Finite is the opposite of infinite (and is therefore related to being bounded or limited in some way).

It may refer to:

Mathematics and related fields
Grammar
  • Finite verb, being inflected for person and for tense
Generally, this is not accepted practice. See WP:PTM (summary: don't put entries in a dab page for a partial title match). That rule (like all rules) is subject to exceptions for the good of the encyclopedia, but I don't see what's exceptional about this particular case; if you do, feel free to explain.
It's true that the page doesn't give much useful information. Disambig pages are not intended to give information; they're navigational tools. My current view is that finite should probably be either a minimalistic dab page with very few entries, or just deleted. Deleting it entirely and letting it be a redlink would frankly not be a huge loss; someone typing "finite" into the search box would then see useful search results, and I think there aren't too many cases where the word finite itself should be linked from Wikipedia article-space text. --Trovatore (talk) 20:32, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
"Disambig pages are not intended to give information; they're navigational tools." True enough, but they have to give enough information to enable readers to figure out where they want to navigate to, otherwise what's the point? [time passes...] OK, I've just added a "See also" section with a {{lookfrom}} link, which seems to be an acceptable way of dealing with this sort of issue (see Wikipedia:WikiProject Disambiguation#Templates [and look for that template name] and, for example, the disambigs binary and weak, which use the template). Maybe the real solution to this particular issue (finite not being very useful in its present form) is to change the redirect page at Finiteness into an actual article about that concept, including how the term "finite" is used in various senses in various places (as outlined in the lists above), and link to that article from this disambig page. - dcljr (talk) 23:13, 18 June 2012 (UTC)