The term for someone who uses a computer or a piece of software, or whatever, in any way. Sometimes opposed as a term to a provider of this whatever.

Note that we at the TUNES project make no arbitrary distinction between using or programming. Programming is using computer programs, compilers or interpreters, so programmers are users (they also use a lot of other programs, as most computer users). Conversely, by interacting with a computer, any user actually programs, even without knowing it. Hitting a key is some trivial kind of programming, but it is; writing a short macro is programming; filling a form is programming. In the most general sense, information itself is a kind of software, in being interpreted semantically by others to base their actions and ideas upon. Thus computer users are programmers.

Of course, there are different levels of programming, more or less proficient programmers, programmers with more or less technical, theoretical, or practical knowledge; there are infinitely richly different ways of using a computer. But there is not a clearly-cut line to differentiate "users" from "programmers", or "programmers" from "system developers" that would not be purely arbitrary and without any intrinsic meaning (in mathematical terms, we'd say the space of computing levels is connected).

Thus, the system must provide an equally-integrated interface to all possible computing abstractions the users-programmers (the term "user" will be used herefrom in this text to encompass any kind of using the system) We must distinguish the current computer technical proficiency of a computer user from his being providing or consuming information to others. One may provide information such as text, sounds, images, without computer programming proficiency, or write very complex programs without ever publishing them. Conversely, one may use (read) a computer document.

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