I have created a content type with a field inside which can take unlimited number of values. eg a city with the names of its inhabitants.

The problem is that this number can get really big (i.e. 100000).

Up to 5000 people I can edit this node with no problems (apart from the fact that it takes much time to load). But above this number I just get a white screen.

What should I do in order to be able to edit (e.g. the name of a certain inhabitant) with no problems?

My UI idea would be something like pagination (loading 100 records each time I change the page), but is this possible?

  • What's the field type? Entity reference? You should be able to configure it to use autocomplete. Oct 16 '14 at 15:12
  • field type is text Oct 16 '14 at 15:34
  • As per @j-reynold's answer below, you should definitely have the inhabitant and city as separate entities. A multi-valued field attached to the node will lead to all sorts of problems, as you have discovered. Oct 16 '14 at 15:49

Put the relationship the other way round, ie let every inhabitant be a separate entity that has an entity reference to a city.

Then you can still display them on a city content view by using an embedded view, such as EVA or Display Suite dynamic field, or using Panels. You can even embed it via a preprocess_node function using view_embed_view, and have pagination on it.

And views will use the inverse relationship just fine.

Look at the wiki entry for Cardinality (data modeling) for more information on this principle.

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