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I recently noticed that tags , , and have recently all been marked as a synonym of the tag.

To the extend it is needed, here are my 2 cents about how I understand those Drupal thingies:

  • an entity (introduced as of D7) is something to represent a user, a node, a group, a message, etc. If you're familiar with a relational DBMS, it's the equivalent of a table.
  • an field is typically some sort of "attribute" to provide more details about an entity, something to represent a name, a location, a date, a color, the key of a related entity, etc. If you're familiar with a relational DBMS, it's the equivalent of a column of a table.

To continue the comparison with a relational DBMS: saying that "field" is a synonym of an "entity", is like saying that a "column" (of a table) is a synonym of a table. That's for sure not correct (actually completely wrong).

Or to add a Drupal example, if you're familiar with the Rules module, how about Rules Conditions like "Entity has Field" or "Entity is of type". Or Rules Actions like "Fetch Entity" (not something like "Fetch Field").

Moreover:

  • a field formatter has to do with how the value of some field is to be formatted (to be displayed), that's not what a field is about. In Drupal Commerce, prices are stored in fields with values that correspond to cents, however when they are shown (in a cart, etc) they are formatted as EURs, or USDs, etc, with a separator (comma or point) in front of the last 2 digits.
  • an entity reference is about a link (a pointer) to some entity, something which is actually the key that helps retrieving the entity that the entity reference is pointing to. That's not the same as an entity itself. In a relational DBMS, this is what a "foreign key" is about.

For all those reasons, please perform an undo of whatever happened to mark the tags , , and as a synonym of .

Update: some related searches:

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    I take it the field formatter & entity reference tags got nuked. – No Sssweat Aug 4 '18 at 17:52
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    @NoSssweat no matter what happened to them, at the time I posted this question, for sure they were marked as synonym (and I think they should be restored ... – Pierre.Vriens Aug 4 '18 at 18:37
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    Slight non-update on this, but I still haven't gotten to the bottom of what happened here, as it is not clear from the tools I have access to. – mpdonadio Aug 9 '18 at 15:48
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    @mpdonadio merci for the minor update on this. Good to know that some of the mods are still looking at this somehow, now that it has become a "hot meta question" (= posted in last 2 weeks, and voting balance of at least +3, right?). I honestly think/hope this will be corrected eventually, some day (too bad for those who earned some tag badges, like me, when this merge was performed). "A field is a synonym of an entity in Drupal (yes or no)" would be great Acquia certification question, and anybody who answers yes should fail such certification (and be banned to take it again). – Pierre.Vriens Aug 9 '18 at 15:55

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