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http://drupalcode.org/project/pathauto.git/commitdiff/01786c8?hp=43319d7... added a hook_field_extra_fields_alter() implementation, but I'm not clear as to why. No other vertical tabs do this. And if on the "manage fields" page, you drag the extra field up above all the others, then on the node edit page, it's still rendered in a vertical tab below all the real node fields. Seems to me that if a module wants to remove "path" from being a vertical tab so that it can be placed higher on the page (e.g., just below title, like in WordPress), then that's the module that should implement hook_field_extra_fields_alter().
This patch removes the function from the Pathauto module.