Unit test: you keep using this word.

There’s an idea doing the rounds that the “unit” in “unit test” means the unity of the test, rather than a test of a software unit. Moreover, that it originally meant this, and that anyone who says “unit test” to mean the test of a software unit is misguided.

Here’s the report of the 1968 NATO conference on software engineering. On their page 20 (as marked, not as in the PDF) is a diagram of a waterfall-esque system development process, featuring these three phases among others (emphasis mine):

  • unit design
  • unit development
  • unit test

“Unit” meaning software unit is used throughout.

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