Suppose I use ifconfig or some similar command to setup my network interface, and I assign 0.0.0.0 to the mask parameter. Does it have a special meaning? What implications could this have?
0.0.0.0 generally means that the network interface isn't bound to any network at all, not even localhost requests will be acknowledged. If anything it's a way of the operating system to present the interface as available but inactive and un-routed.