White box (software engineering)

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

A white box (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.

Mathematical models for complex systems

See also[edit]