[erlang-questions] eunit vs. common_test

Ulf Wiger <>
Fri Jun 12 20:18:02 CEST 2009

Christian wrote:
> I think that usage of blackbox and whitebox 
 > testing is off. But I'm not sure how well defined
 > those terms are in testing. This is how I
> use them at work:
> To me blackbox testing is to:
> * be fully aware of the implementation
> * to derive tests cases from the code knowledge
> * to reach into components that are not available to
 >   the application user
> And whitebox testing is:
> * to act as a user, preferably to avoid learning
 >   implementation details
> * to drive test cases from a functional
 >   description/specification of the system
> * to use the abstractions and simplifications
 >   the application presents the user with

I'm pretty sure it's the other way around.

See e.g.

Of course, the term "whitebox" is something of
a misnomer, since white is no more transparent
than black. Presumably, it was meant as the
opposite of "black box", which is a term that
has been used for a very long time in e.g.

This article, probably as reliable as anything on
the Internet, suggests an etymology for the term
"black box":


"The term 'black box' has since come to mean any
device or process whose purpose or effect is clear
to the user, but whose actual means of operation
are a mystery."

Ulf W
Ulf Wiger
CTO, Erlang Training & Consulting Ltd

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