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Why we use wildcard in OSFP ?

beer9 used Ask the Experts™
I just started understanding the function of OSFP, I would like to know why suddenly this concept of 'wildcard' came into the picture to replace the 'subnet mask'. Why can not we use 'subnet mask' instead of wildcard in OSPF? Thanks!
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Well you actually you often can use a normal subnet mask, and it will convert it to wilcard for you.  But yes this is a common question that just has no good answer.
The wikipedia entry says http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildcard_mask that it's used because it can specify multiple subnet masks (sort of like a route summary), whereas a normal subnet mask officially only designates one network.  I guess that makes sense, but it's such a minor reason.


Thank you! :-)