|WikiProject Electronics||(Rated Start-class)|
Suggestion of advertising
I am not an experienced editor nor an expert with Wikipedia's style but I have most definitely been lead to believe that anything that could appear to be an interested link should be removed. It has happened to me in several articles I have contributed to (I specifically remember "anchor"). While I agree that manufacturers' and vendors' sites might have a lot of interesting information I have been lead to believe they are not acceptable as references because they are, by their very nature, biased and interested, not to mention effective in taking traffic to those sites and promoting sales.
Bob Parker's link is to a commercial product. The same can be said about the link to "comparison of six ESR meters". It is a commercial site with an interest in selling their own products. The site "hints for techs using an ESR meter" is also about using specifically one of the previously mentioned commercial units. I do not believe this is encyclopedic knowledge or information.
Maybe there are some other sites which contain similar useful information and are not links to commercial sites or products?
I believe the purpose of Wikipedia is to be an encyclopedia, not a place where a hobbyist can come and find products or projects. There are plenty of other sites online for that.
Having said that, I do not wish to engage in editing wars or arguments and since this page seems to have been created and edited by a single contributor I think I would rather call in some other contributors so they can give their opinion on this matter. GS3 (talk) 14:51, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
The text above was entered without a topic; as the creator and main contributor referred to I have taken the liberty of adding headings. I think this issue is quite important and maybe worth discussing in general, rather than just this article, if anyone can suggest where. The relevant guideline is WP:NOTADVERTISING.
The issue is whether this IS advertising; my intentions are irrelevant. But I will say where I personally am coming from, for clarity. While it wasn't alleged otherwise, I will state that I don't and have never had have any wish to advertise any commercial product or advocate any, in any article on Wikipedia. My edits can be checked to confirm that.
Most of this discussion is I think mainly relevant to technical articles. Sometimes the best, or the only, information is on commercial sites, and associated with commercial products. Cases where I have used commercial information are: coin battery, where I referenced a commercial site (Energizer, I think) for characteristics of batteries, both general and specific datasheets, and energy analyser where I cited a page with technical advertising for a particular product to reference the parameters measured by a typical device. I would have preferred a non-commercial source, but didn't find any in a quick Web search (I don't have unlimited time to find information). Most of my edits don't reference commercial sources at all; I've tried to remember some that do so that they can be scrutinised.
I often use Wikipedia to find useful information, and the intention behind many of my my edits is to make articles as informative as possible: "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", and try to create articles I would have liked to have found. (Other edits are for example to correct spelling, make wording plainer, delete advertising-like text like "Acme Industries introduced their
innovative, brilliant, world-beating new mousetrap", replace dead with live references).
In the particular case of the ESR meter (I link it in case this discussion is copied elsewhere), I originally had trouble with high-ESR capacitors in about 1990. I don't know if there were ESR meters available at that time, but certainly not affordable ones. I improvised a way to measure ESR using the square-wave calibration waveform and an external resistor, which was extremely useful (I also found a similar way to measure inductance down to exceedingly small valus using the sinewave timebase signal and a resistor, but that is irrelevant). When an affordable ESR meter became available I bought one (it was Bob Parker's as it happens). I find it very useful, but would be equally happy with any other; I certainly don't recommend Parker's over any other—though I haven't needed to buy any others so can't compare. I bought the kit, whose constructional article had all this information; The kit is no longer available commercially anyway (you can't even build it from the article because it needs a custom-programmed part).
Bob Parker's constructional article gives a great deal of information on ESR, its consequences, and its measurement. I don't know if this information is as conveniently found in one place elsewhere; I have looked quite a bit, but haven't made the thorough search I would for an article in an academic journal. Associated sites give information I have never seen anywhere else; for example, the use of an ESR meter for measuring battery condition (any ESR meter without protective diodes will do the job, it's not Parker-specific). So the Parker constructional article and sites findable associated with this particular meter give masses of useful information. The comparative table I reference is, indeed commercial, but gives details of 6 meters (5 really, as the Blue and EVB meters are essentially the same). I haven't seen a table like it elsewhere, and it is useful because it gives an idea of the general properties of these meters, and details of some that are available.
After this prologue, my argument is simple: the commercial sources referenced have a great deal of very useful information not readily available elsewhere, and add to the value of the Wikipedia article. While I claim to know enough about this topic to write an article with no references, it would promptly get flagged "Citation needed" and eventually deleted. Deleting the references from the article merely leaves it unreferenced. I'd certainly be absolutely happy if a non-commercial reference for all the technical information were found to replace those I've given (and if I find any I'll use them); but simply deleting the references basically leaves the article unreferenced and destroys much of its value.
The fact that the ultimate intention of a website is to promote or sell a product doesn't itself make a reference to it inappropriate or irrelevant to a Wikipedia article, so long as the purpose in Wikipedia isn't advertising. In this case I think I've established that the references don't breach WP:NOTADVERTISING, but if they did I'd add that guidelines are just that, for guidance, and shouldn't be applied blindly if there are compelling reasons that make these references valuable to readers.
I'd suggest that those commenting clarify if the technology described is interesting or relevant to them, my point being that someone not particularly interested in the topic might tend to delete references to information of real use to those who use or could use ESR meters. Pol098 (talk) 15:11, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
References to support and supplement information
The references used for much of this article have been deleted as they were considered too commercial, so it is now largely unreferenced. If anyone would like to read further, until new references are added the version of 2 October 2010 has the old ones, which support and add detail on virtually everything in the article. I do not wish to promote the meters or companies in the references; an ESR meter is a go/no go troubleshooting aid rather than a precision instrument, and can satisfactorily be chosen on specification (not that they differ all that much) and price. As far as I know those available are of comparable, and good, reliability. Some will also measure capacitance (out of circuit) or detect shorted capacitors. Analog and digital displays are available. Pol098 (talk) 09:51, 28 October 2010 (UTC)