Permissions

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GregChapman GregChapman
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Permissions

This post was updated on .

You should be familiar with the Concepts of access control and the nature of User Groups within Nabble before reading the following article.


NOTES:
1. It is recommended that Administrators create a second user for themselves so they can test that any changes in permissions are behaving as expected.

2. There are many options that a member of the Administrators group has access to, through additional menu options that do not appear to members of other groups. These might be considered as additional permissions but they do not appear on the "Change permissions" screen. For example, only Administrators have access to the "Manage users & groups" screen. This means it is impossible to give others permission to upgrade newly Registered users to the Members group without promoting them to the Administrator group. That would also allow them to remove the creator of the forum from their administrator role and that requires a level of trust that may not be acceptable.


Each area of a forum, including sub-forums and subcategories, has its own set of permissions. These can be granted, or withdrawn, to members of each of the various groups that any forum has. You access the Permissions screen for any area via:
Options > Users > Change permissions

IMPORTANT! After changing any settings you must scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Save Changes button or they will not take effect!

At the top level the top of the screen will look like this:

Top Level Permissions Screen

Above is just a part of the long list of the available permissions. The three most important are:

View:
The ability to see the contents of a particular forum or sub-forum.
Create_topic:
The ability to create a new topic or post
Reply:
The ability to reply or comment on an existing topic or post.

By default, even those in the "Anyone" group have these three abilities. Most administrators of public discussion groups choose to remove the Create_topic and Reply permissions from "Anyone" but add them to "Registered" users. This is because many feel Nabble's default settings leave their site open to spammers. Although offering only limited protection, the change forces those who post to use validated addresses. Those who have created a Blog will certainly want to alter the default permissions, as a blog is designed to have all new topics posted by the blog owner or the authorised officials of the owner where it's a club or company blog.

Without any changes the only additional ability a Registered user has in addition those those held by a member of the "Anyone" group is to see lists of various users. You'll see that the default set of permissions for any app includes having "Show_group_members" set for Registered users, Administrators and Members, when logged in as a member of one of these groups a "People" link will appear that opens a drop-down list showing the membership of those three groups.

It should be noted that there is an element of hierarchy to user groups. Everyone will be a member of the Anyone group, so any permission granted to that group will be held by everyone. A permission will not be lost because a user belongs to another group that lacks that permission. So, for example, if you want your forum to be visible to all then only the Anyone group need have that Permission, since every user will be in the Anyone Group. There will be no need to grant Registered users the "View" permission as everyone who is registered must already belong to the Anyone group.

You'll see how in the screen shown above, that the Permission to "Create_topic" and "Reply" have been removed from all groups, while every other permission is still at the default option. This would be a typical arrangement where a Stongly Structured forum was being created and all content was only to be posted in sub-forums.

Moving to a sub-forum and following the same options there we see something a little different:

Sub-forum Permissions Screen

Note how, in any sub-forum, "Inherit" will replace "Default" for most permissions and only those that are different to the parent forum show "Modified".

The View Permission:

The effect of withdrawing the "View" permission varies depending on the app and whether it is applied at the top level or to a sub-forum however deep in the structure.

If the view permission is removed from the top level of a forum the user will see a login screen:

Nabble Login Screen

Removing the "View" permission from a sub-forum under a Category app will hide the sub-forum in the list available to the user. With other apps the sub-forum will remain on a user's list but when they attempt to enter it they will reach an "Access Request" screen instead.

Nabble Access Request Screen

The Access Request screen allows a user to email the forum administrator asking to be granted access. The administrator can then consider whether to change the group membership of the user to allow access.

For apps other than Category, if you want the to hide the sub-forum from the user's list then you need to apply the "Smart Application Pages" option. This is done via:
Options > Application > Extras & add-ons > Content > Smart application pages

Greg