Christopher Diggins warns us not to trust computer science articles on Wikipedia. Here’s his admonition:
This is not the first time a Wikipedia computer-science definition has made me want to pull my hair out. In the end I don’t care, as long as people don’t make the mistake of taking Wikipedia definitions seriously. Just remember that in Wikipedia the definitions are written by random people, and edited by random people, not experts.
My question to Diggins would be, “Did you fix the definition that offended you?” He took the trouble to write up what’s wrong with the definition on his own weblog, but didn’t bother to update the article in question. Instead, someone else who probably read his weblog entry has done so.
The article has also been the subject of much thoughtful discussion, contrary to the impression that Diggins gives that it was written by some “random person”.
I would further challenge Diggins to point me to a better definition of type safety that’s readily available on the Web. It’s better to work to improve the imperfect resource we have rather than to bash it without offering any alternative.