White box (software engineering)

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Black box systems
Blackbox.svg
Concepts
Black box · Oracle machine
Methods and techniques
Black-box testing · Blackboxing
Related techniques
Feed forward · Obfuscation
Pattern recognition · White box
System identification
Fundamentals
A priori information · Control systems
Open systems · Operations research
Thermodynamic systems

A white box[citation needed] (or glass box, clear box, or open box) is a subsystem whose internals can be viewed but usually not altered.

Having access to the subsystem internals in general makes the subsystem easier to understand but also easier to hack; for example, if a programmer can examine source code, weaknesses in an algorithm are much easier to discover.[citation needed] That makes white box testing much more effective than black box testing but considerably more difficult from the sophistication needed on the part of the tester to understand the subsystem.

See also[edit]