Talk:Point source pollution

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Definition[edit]

The point source page to pollution point sources, particularly as this is one of the least common uses according to websearches and wikipedia usage (most links to "point source" on wikipedia go to wiktionary because the definition on this wikipedia page is so limited and unhelpful).

The general definition of point source (i.e. without the word "pollution") works for any type of point source (whether an optical point source, a radio point source, a chemical point source, a pollutant point source or whatever). Why can't the word "pollution" be removed from the definition so it applies to all types of point source, otherwise it's like defining a car as being a "Ford" and sending users to a disambig page for all other types of car.

I tried to make these changes, but they were immediately reverted. It would be useful if we could have a vote on this. Alternatively, we could have separate pages for pollution point source, optical point source, audio point source, radiation point source, chemical point source, etc. which would be almost identical. Rnt20 20:15, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps the article could start with the definition given on the Wiktionary page:

"A source, especially of radiation, waves or pollution, that has one specific location (and usually negligible physical extent), especially an idealized source having zero extent"

Rnt20 20:33, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Rnt20, with all due respect, not all of the readers and users of Wikipedia are physicists or astronomers. Every environmental pollution regulatory agency of local, state, province, and national governments in most countries of the world have air and water pollution laws and regulations which specifically reference point sources of pollution. There are many, many thousands of publications, articles, books, conference proceedings, etc. which deal with air and water point source pollution ... and there are many thousands of professional engineers, scientists and others who work in the field of air and water pollution.
Any of those thousands of people interested in point sources of air and water pollution, who come to Wikipedia for information about sources of pollution, would be looking specifically for such information about air and water pollution ... they would have no interest in radiation, optical or wave sources. So why not have an article specifically devoted to pollution sources? Is there anything wrong with that? I think this article should remain as it is, an article about pollution sources.
This article is tagged with an opening alert that other uses of the phrase "point source" are available at Point source (disambiguation). I may be wrong, but your above comment sounds as if you might possibly be averse to the idea of disambiguation pages. Is that the case? Regards, -mbeychok 21:23, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
I would also point out that this article was just created less than 24 hours ago. Before it was created, all related article were linked to the disambiguation page and had been so linked for quite some while. So all this article did was to provide a separate page that could be used by articles related only to pollution point sources. This article, in less than 24 hours, already has about 27 pollution related articles that link to it. - mbeychok 00:08, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Hi Rnt20. It seems clear to me that the pollution usage of the term needs its own article, separate from other uses. They are not the same thing. From what I read here, I gather that in pollution tracking, a "point source" is just a localized source. Unlike point sources in physics, an inverse square law emission is not implied, nor is the source necessarily of negligible spatial extent. When this article was created, I actually moved it to Point source (pollution), but I moved it back shortly afterward because I wasn't sure that was the best location. If we do decide that we need an article on point sources as used in physics and other sciences, I would certainly support moving this article to a more specific title, and reserving the simpler title for the more common and more direct usage.
It's not clear that the physics usage needs an article, however. One of the Wikipedia's core rules is that Wikipedia is not a dictionary. If all there is to say about a word or phrase is its definition, the word or phrase belongs on Wiktionary, not here. It's not clear to me that "point source", as used in physics, is a viable topic for a Wikipedia article. As a result, I have adjusted all the links that weren't pollution-related to point to the Wiktionary entry point source. Contrary to what you assert, the links do not go to Wiktionary because this page is unhelpful. They go there because the Wiktionary article was the appropriate place to send someone who needs a definition of "point source", and there seemed little point in linking this phrase to anything more than a simple definition. I should know; I made every one of those links myself, last night.
It might be advisable to move this article to a more specific title, such as Point source (pollution) and allow Point source to be a redirect to the disambiguation page. Even though there are no other Point source articles, this article will invariably collect bad links from people writing physics articles who make links without checking the destinations. It might be less confusing overall to avoid that situation.--Srleffler 03:56, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
OK, I will create separate pages for each type of point source. Note also that in Physics & Chemistry a point source also does not imply an inverse square law -- e.g. a point source of gas or fluid in fluid dynamics. Also note that in pollution usage, a point source must have negligible spatial extent to distinguish it from an area source or volume source, just as in Physics & Chemistry. 84.220.102.68 06:16, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Ooops -- just read your comment about the wiktionary links -- I had been changing them all back! Sorry. Given that "point" has multiple meanings in English, and that in physics the laws for point sources of gas, fluid or substance are quite different to those for e.g. electron waves or light, I think a wiktionary definition is insufficient. However, the laws for e.g. a gas or for noise are the same regardless of whether or not it is called "pollution".
I have also started dealing with some of the links to the disambiguation page. However, many of the links are to point sources in general (not one specific type of point source), and I don't know what to do with those (currently I am leaving them pointing to the disambig page) -- e.g. an optical point source is an optical point source whether it is "light pollution" or just light -- lenses image a point source whether they are microwave lenses, optical lenses or electron lenses -- so where should these links to "point source" go? There are still more links to point source (disambiguation) that need changing:

Rnt20 13:07, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

STOP. Before you do any more damage, please read Wikipedia:Disambiguation and Wikipedia:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages). You don't seem to understand disambiguation, and as a result you are making bad edits that create more work for everyone. If you have changed the wiktionary links to point to the disambiguation page, I expect you to change them all back (or change them to point to an article) before you do anything else. It is never acceptable to deliberately link to a disambiguation page. Disambiguation pages exist to catch erroneous links; cases where someone makes a link without bothering to check that they are linking to the correct article. The ultimate goal is to have zero links to each dab page (except for dablinks at the beginning of articles, etc.) Disambiguation pages are not to contain any information beyond that needed for a reader to quickly find the link to the page they are looking for.
Do not create articles for the different types of point source unless you are sure there is enough to say about them to make a viable encyclopedia article. If it is not possible to expand the article much beyond a simple definition, the article should not be created.--Srleffler 16:12, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Suggested move[edit]

I suggest that Point source be moved to pollution point source, and that point source (disambiguation) be moved to point source (except for the company reference). A new disambiguation page would then be needed with two entries:

  • A point source is a single identifiable localized source of gas, fluid, heat, noise, waves, substance or pollution. A point source has negligible extent, distinguishing it from other source geometries, such as a line source.
  • Point Source (company), a company that produces lasers and fiber optic devices

What do people think? This would make the article more consistent with e.g. Line source. Rnt20 12:59, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

It seems clear to me that the definition of a point source is essentially the same for Environmental, Physical and many other applications. They are all based on a mathematical abstraction of a source with a fixed location and no spatial extent in any dimension (in the real physical world these sources have small spatial extent - but often mathematics dealing with an object of no physical extent can be used as an approximation). I think there should be a main definition page, which would go further than a wiktionary definition and perhaps list common applications of the mathematical abstraction - e.g. in pollution theory or radiation etc. There should also be a seperate page that is less mathematical and solely deals with the term in it's pollution context. The articles about pollution point sources should link to this page. 131.111.48.50 14:20, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

It would be useful to have some more comments on this

The proposed disambiguation page does not comply with WP:MOSDAB, in several respects. In particular, it is not appropriate to create a disambiguation page with only two entries. The proposed name for the pollution page is also inappropriate. A better name would be Point source (pollution). Note also that disambiguation pages are not articles. See Wikipedia:Disambiguation.--Srleffler 16:16, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Mis-spelled title[edit]

Whoever changed the title of this article has mispelled the word pollution. - mbeychok 19:02, 5 September 2006 (UTC)