If we specify an IPv4 address we all usually do the pattern of 188.8.131.52 Now essentially this is only 'a' way of writing a 32 bit number in a more human readable form.
The IP address 184.108.40.206 can also be written as 1.2.(3*256+4) = 1.2.772
This makes that you can have an IP address with 3 dots (i.e. common practise), 2 dots, 1 dot and no dots at all (i.e. normal unsigned 32bit integer written as a decimal integer).
Using such an alternative notation you could write some IP addresses even more readable: 10.10.4000 is the same as 10.10.15.160
One of the nitfy side effects is that if this is used in combination with a webserver like apache, you can define 4 different vhosts on a single IP address without the use of a DNS or hosts file. (Try this at home ;)
I know there are a lot of GUI based tools (like the Windows IP config) that simply have 4 fields that all accept only 0-255. Many commandline tools (like ping, curl, ssh, etc.) and just about all webbrowsers (that basically have a free form address bar) can get 'any' form.
Now my question is: How well are these kinds of alternative IPv4 notations accepted/allowed by tools we have 'in the wild' that accept any form?