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Simplify permissions - please!

Discussion in 'XenForo Suggestions' started by ibrian, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. ibrian

    ibrian Active Member

    Please simplify the permissions system.

    It is utterly over-complicated compared to vb3 - especially when managing moderators.

    There are your usergroup permissions and your individual user permissions, but that isn't enough - you still have to manually set each one as a moderator - and then individually set up each one's individual moderator permissions.

    Even then, although you can set moderators to "ban" using the spam cleaner, you cannot set moderators to simply "ban" without using the spam cleaner!

    Xenforo does a lot of things really well, and almost everything else sleek and simple as required. But the whole permissions system has a logic that only a programmer could love.
    Sunka, ncbetz, RoldanLT and 1 other person like this.
  2. Amaury

    Amaury Well-Known Member

    No from me. I find the permissions system is very easy to understand once a person gets the hang of it. It seems most people have a problem with XenForo's permissions system because they don't have the patience to learn something new. Remember, people were new to other forum software at first as well. I'm sure they had their complaints about those as well.

    You can only dumb things down so much.
    Methodical, gldtn and rocket0191 like this.
  3. rocket0191

    rocket0191 Member

    Agreed. I find the current permissions system to be great as it is. It's very flexible and allows for the implementation of permissions in multiple different ways, which I like.
    gldtn likes this.
  4. Martok

    Martok Well-Known Member

    You don't for moderators across your whole site. You make them a super moderator and just add them to the moderating user group. It's there that you set up the permissions once for all site moderators.
  5. Solmak

    Solmak Member

    Xenforo's permission system is one of the best I've seen so far. I understand there is a learning curve and it needs time for initial setup based on your specific custom needs, but once everything is setup, it is very easy to add and remove permissions from users and grant permissions to groups of users all at once.

    Yes, it still has some room for improvement, like adding a moderator to multiple forums in one step without having to add them one by one to each forum. And I admit I've still not fully understood or used the moderator usergroup permissions, but I believe you could create separate usergroups with different levels of moderator permissions and assign the lower level moderators to such group to get the specific moderator permissions you want to give to those users. The confusion lies because there is a moderator usergroup and then there are moderator permissions given in the step when assigning a user as a moderator without adding them to moderator usergroup. (Now if the moderator user group was very liberal and gave them all the permissions, will the user have such permissions even if that permission was not specifically checked when these users were assigned as moderators to specific forums but added to moderator usergroup?)

    Only the assigning of moderators to forums is a one-per-step action as far I know, one moderator can be added to one forum per step and this has to be repeated for every moderator/forum.
  6. gldtn

    gldtn Well-Known Member

  7. Gladius

    Gladius Well-Known Member

    Your definition of repetitive is not what I meant. I meant that most admins perform a lot of the same or similar tasks when it comes to dealing with permissions, especially in regards to mods, super mods, admins, etc.

    If you need to micromanage beyond mod, super mod and admin, then I'm sure XF is great for you. Assuming that everyone does, or even the majority, is ridiculous.

    No, that's not the point and obviously you haven't even read what I've written. You don't "give up" anything with a wizard. A wizard is a simplified UI to an overly complex system, which is what XF's permissions system is. You don't lose anything if you don't use the wizard because the system behind it remains the same.
  8. ibrian

    ibrian Active Member

    Just to clarify, the group permissions themselves are not a problem - it's a feature we were used to in vb3.

    The problem comes when setting up moderators with moderator permissions - you cannot set these at the user group level, but instead have to do this individually for each moderator to have proper access to the tools. Which is a real pain when you have a sizeable staff.

    Additionally, there's the small oversight I mentioned in another thread where after this process, a moderator can ban a member using the spam cleaner function which additionally deletes all of the banned member's posts - but the moderator cannot simply ban that user without deleting the automatic posts deletion.

    There will also necessarily be some confusion with terminology in this thread, because xenforo has multiple definitions of what a moderator actually is. Assigning a member to the moderator usergroup does not make a member a moderator, nor provide them with the full range of moderator tools.

    Anyway, I was not making an argument on the issue, simply providing feedback to the xenforo staff that simplifying the process of setting up moderators would be welcome. :)
    Gladius likes this.
  9. Martok

    Martok Well-Known Member

    Yes you can.

    Incorrect. Moderators can ban using warning actions which don't delete banned members posts and have nothing to do with the spam cleaner whatsover, as I explained in the other thread.
    Amaury likes this.
  10. ibrian

    ibrian Active Member

    And this underlines why the moderator permissions could benefit from being simplified.

    There could be an option in the moderator usergroup permissions for "Can ban members". One click.

    Or you can mess about with the warning system to try and fudge a workaround in the absence of a "ban" option.
  11. Martok

    Martok Well-Known Member

    Indeed, a few people have said this would be useful. You should search the suggestions to see if there is one specifically for this already.

    It's not really that difficult to set this up, I've done this already on my site. Anyway, for now you either have the choice of using this or buying the add-on linked above, as it's unlikely that you will see the change you want before XenForo 2.0 (and possibly later than that) and I'd guess that this is still several months away.
  12. HWS

    HWS Well-Known Member

    The problem is the UI and the non-restrictive possibilities. Currently you can do anything what you want, even if XF recommends to use a basic group for all members. You don't need to follow that recommendation and then it will be more complicated as it already is with the insufficient UI.
  13. Mert

    Mert Well-Known Member

    As a 15 year + admin i can say that Xenforo Permissions may designed with great intentions but the UI is not perfectly planned. There are many weird things we notice during our testing period. We would like to see a lot of improvements implemented to Permissions system.

    Handling moderators on big boards is painful.
    Handling too many groups is painful ( if you don't follow keep everyone in Registered Group and use Secondary groups approach )

    So can anyone please explain me why it is possible to move users our of Primary Registered Usergroup ?

    Yes Xenforo permissions work when you follow Brogan's approach , but if you want any other format then you are doomed with major issues on your hand.

    If the system is designed to be flexible , it is not achieving that flexibility as of today.
    HWS and Gladius like this.
  14. Martok

    Martok Well-Known Member

    I believe it's the XenForo official approach to permissions, @Brogan just posted the guide to this.
  15. Mert

    Mert Well-Known Member

    Then Xenforo should simply do NOT offer an option to move users our of Registered Usergrioup at all. Because as of now if you do that , you are doomed with a permission mess in your hand.
  16. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    I think the key issue that confuses people is that XF permissions are additive.

    If you've come from vB or other forum platforms you'll be used to having usergroups that override each other. All of the settings of a higher tier group completely override the lower tier group.

    Using that approach in XF simply does not work because - if you imagine usergroups as a set of hole-punched cards stacked one on top of each other - if the light gets through then that permission is not set in any usergroup, if it doesn't then it is set in at least one of the usergroups. This ability to stack / build permissions means that you don't have to set ALL options in EVERY group, and can have usergroups that add/remove just a single permission - making it very flexible. It also means that no usergroup has priority over any other - they work together, in concert, to build the "whole" permission set for a member - and it is the same result no matter what order they are stacked in. :)

    This is why having the Registered usergroup as the most basic one is useful - you layer extra permissions on top with usergroup promotions.

    Makes sense to me (now that I understand the concept). :D
    Tracy Perry, gldtn and Amaury like this.
  17. Martok

    Martok Well-Known Member

    There may be some other potential use cases, as was mentioned in this closed suggestion (though no elaboration was given):


    I'm guessing that one could be due to importing from other forum software and how they handle user groups (so that things don't break until they have reconfigured permissions).
  18. Bionic Rooster

    Bionic Rooster Well-Known Member

    So since 'Brogan's approach' is an explanation of how it works, you agree that it does work as designed.

    I don't know of any other forum platform that allows admins to use a format different from the one the program is designed with unless a 3rd party developed it.

    It is designed to be flexible with in the paramatures of it's framework and as you said in your first quote, it works as it should if you use it as it is designed.
  19. HWS

    HWS Well-Known Member

    They work. But you still need an Excel sheet to overcome the insufficient UI.
    Isil`Zha and Xon like this.
  20. gldtn

    gldtn Well-Known Member

    Ok.. IMO I dont see that much need for improvements and if you follow brogan's approach you'll find that its much easier than vB approach to permission, also if you need to set explicit permission for a usergroup then you can set one outside of the registered group and go from there..

    What do you guys suggest that may need changes and why would you need an excel sheet to set permission on your board? The only thing i see that would help is maybe a way to put all or previous usergroup permission side by side for comparisson reasons so you know what you have already set on a previous usergroup and maybe a way to create a new group as a copy of another.

    Other than that i find the current UI simple enough!

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