Drupal 8: Updating field configuration in update hooks

Continuing to Reverting features in update hooks, I encountered a new scenario yesterday where I had to make a field translatable. Somehow we missed to make the field translatable during development and now since we are in update mode we need to handle it for existing sites as well.

At first I looked at the documentation at Drupal.org, which was a bit confusing and not helpful for the case at hand.

Then I looked into some of the core modules but that didn't work for me. For instance comment_update_8300() in docroot/core/modules/comment/comment.install

It made the field translatable in field definition for me using this approach but it didn't update anything in the interface even after doing drush cr and drush entity-updates.

Then I tried to look into how it's done in frontend and found out that it is also stored as entity now and so quickly tried to load it as entity and do the changes. It worked perfectly fine, tricky again and something that might take hours to figure out (it took around three hours for me).

Sharing with a hope to make it quicker for others. Please share in comments if you feel the approach is not good / standard OR better approach is available for the same.


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