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Primary/Secondary groups, how do they work?


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I'm kinda struggling to understand exactly how primary and secondary user groups work permissions/settings wise.
Are permission/settings are cumulative (stack)? For instance (just an academic example), Our default group CANNOT use the PM system. We have group [A] where members can send 10 PMs a day. Then we have group [B] were users can send 20 PMs a day. 

If I want a user to be able to send 10 or 20 PMs a day, can I keep them in the default group and just add them to groups [A] or [B] as necessary or do I have to switch their primary group?

The thing is, we're having trouble with highlighted posts - I can't seem to get them to work unless the user is in a primary group that has this permission. Adding a secondary group that has this "ability" turned on, does nothing.  

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Permissions stack, yes. Primary group is treated the same as secondary groups in terms of permissions, but is what will reflected throughout the interface/site.

If a user is in all 3 groups they will be able to send 20 PMs, regardless of which groups are set as the primary or secondary.

If something isn't working the way you think it should you're free to submit a ticket. 

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I'm not sure how I think it should work, so I'm first trying to figure it out here 😄 
The main issue I have is (it at least looks like that) with group formatting. If a user is in a non-formatted primary group (user name appears in black, comments aren't highlighted), adding them to the formatted group does give them the permission but not the formatting. 

So for example, I'm in "members" primary group and "clients" secondary group. I get access to the clients forum but don't have the (imaginary, I know it doesn't exist, it's just for sake of the example) "Client" badge in my forum posts.

Is this how it's supposed to act? Meaning if I want someone to have BOTH the permissions and group formatting, I have to set the formatted group as the primary one?

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Group name formatting is based solely on the primary group. For all intents and purposes, users will "appear" to be in the primary group, including group name formatting. They inherit additional privileges from other groups, but formatting is not a privilege.

What would happen if a user is in 7 groups and 4 of them have different formatting options? No one option would be "better" than the others - it's not the sort of thing that realistically can stack.

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Yeah, You're right. Hence the "I don't know how I think it should work" 😄 
I guess you could potentially work around that and have it use the primary group's formatting but let the admin choose if they want to apply a different format, but I see that this is a super-niche use case and why you (or anyone for that matter) wouldn't want to touch that with a ten foot pole 😂

Thanks for the replies!

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Just saw something weird, but I'm not gonna touch it because I think it's kinda cool - but it also spawned a group-formatting question. You know those "badges" that appear on the upper-right corner of the post (Like "Author") when a user is in a group that has "highlighted replies" enabled? If that user is in two groups (or more) groups that have that, why not have all the badges appear? 
Say a user will have "Staff", "Author" and "super-awesome subscriber" all appear together* on their posts. 

*Obviously, if they have too many badges, they'll a "more" badge or three dots or something along those lines.
HOLD ON! It could be like F***ing Pokemon gym badges that people will collect! Oh my god I'm getting hyped just thinking about it! I NEED THAT IN MY LIFE!

Edited by Pavel Chernitsky
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