Question: What are the differences between join, parent, and group?

Hey all, new forum member here. I have tinkered with Blender in the past, but I am more motivated recently to learn Blender in more depth. And of course, I have tons of questions cropping up along the way. My first one is: When dealing with objects, what are the defining differences between joining objects, parenting objects, and grouping objects?

What I think I know so far:

When joining objects, each object is merged into a single mesh where the joined objects can be transformed and edited as one.

When parenting objects, the child inherits transformations of the parent.

I don’t know what grouping does.

I also see that there is linking in Blender. But maybe that is a more advanced topic of no real concern to me at the moment.

Thanks in advance for helpful replies.

Objects consists of object data. Armatures consists of bones, curves consists of splines, and mesh type objects consists of meshes. Joining two mesh type objects makes one object that consists of more than one mesh part that are unconnected. Selected object joins to the active object, which keeps its name, origin, and modifiers.

Yes, child inherits the transformations of its parent. It also creates a hierarchy for the objects.

Grouping is more abstract and works like a tag for the objects. An object can be in more than one group. It’s used when one has to select or point to a set of objects.

Linking shares data. It can be done within one file, or between .blend files. When linking objects as linked libraries between two files, everything is shared, and often a proxy is used to have some local data attached to it. A simple example of that is when an object needs to be moved in the local file, the object and its transformations are made local while the object data is still linked to another file.

Thanks JA12. Between your post and some other videos and the Blender manual I have a better understanding of this topic. I think it will take using these features to gain a really good understanding of it all.