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Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Mask (computing).

If you click on the very general (386), (194), and (20) tags, what you wind up with is a hodgepodge. I'd ban those terms but have "mask" provoke more specific ones in the tag prompter. What specific ones? Well, the questions appear fit into these categories:

  • bit masking - how to turn 0xDECAFBAD into 0x00000BAD, that sort of thing. There are tags for (117) and (6), but a fair number of the general mask questions fit here. I think the best name for this tag would be bit-masking.

  • image masking - As per Wiki, this is essentially an implementation method for clipping/transparency which uses a bit mask. Lots of functions in APIs exist with "Mask" or "ClipMask" in the name, and so a fair number of the general mask questions fit here as well. Few have bothered to narrow this one...but there is (21), (3), (3), and the unused but somehow still alive tags (0) and (0). I would steer these to image-masking, which may or may not make a good synonym for transparency-mask.

  • input filtering - Our friends at Microsoft, jQuery community, and elsewhere want to call it "input masking" when you are trying to constrain the typing to match a format string. I don't use the word "mask" this way, and Wikipedia doesn't mention it either. So I'd personally retag (30) questions as (20), and throw in input-masking as a synonym for input-filtering to help anyone typing in a question. Some domain-specific tags that may or may not be valuable to keep in their own right are (84), (40), (9), (5). The (4) should be merged with (2), and I don't know if ([telerik] [radmaskededitbox]) is the better solution than [telerik-radmaskedtextbox] or not.

  • webkit-mask-image - this is a very particular non-standard CSS extension that probably deserves its own tag for questions that deal with this. There is one (2) with only two uses, but there seem to be a lot of questions about it in the pool. I would rename it to webkit-mask-image.

  • autoresizingmask - Another very-specific thing, this time an iOS feature (66): "An integer bit mask that determines how the receiver resizes itself when its superview’s bounds change". I don't care what that means, but it's obviously something other people care about and deserves to keep its tag.

  • umask is a unix command, and the (23) questions probably belong on another StackExchange.

  • netmask is that thing that most of the time is, and I'd probably redirect (17) as a synonym for the more descriptive subnet-mask.

  • domain masking is something about hiding URLs, and (12) plus (7) should be redirected to (10).

There's also two functions with "mask" in the name that show up, (10) and (6)...and I guess those are fine as they are.

So to sum up:

  1. mask/masking/masked questions get sorted and after that these tags go away.
  2. main umbrella terms after the change are bit-masking, image-masking, and input-masking which maps to input-filtering.
  3. well-defined stuff that just has "mask" in the name sticks around.
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