{ 187}


This final, rather short chapter takes a somewhat different form from what precedes it. A number of predictions on the future of string indexing are listed, beginning with what I view as "sure bets" for the short term, moving on to somewhat less certain developments perhaps for the somewhat longer term, and ending with a few rather speculative and distant possibilities.


  1. New string indexing systems will continue to be invented.
  2. New versions of POPSI will continue to emerge.
  3. KWOC-like systems will continue to be the most popular.
  4. Electronic forms will be used increasingly for string indexing input.


  1. String indexing will be introduced as an option in a word-processing or text-formating package such as RUNOFF or WORDSTAR.
  2. Experiments will be conducted on the use of color in string index displays.
  3. Graphic displays will be used increasingly in string indexing.
  4. Full PRECIS, including cross-references, will be available on a personal computer. { 188}
  5. PRECIS will continue to add new codes to deal with special situations, especially in languages other than English.
  6. A variant of CIFT will be applied to some area other than language, literature, and folklore.


  1. Online string index displays will be introduced as an option in a commercial database search service.
  2. Standards for string indexing data will be agreed to.
  3. Terminology for discussing string indexing will be agreed upon.
  4. String indexing, database management, and information retrieval will be integrated in a single model in an operational software package.
  5. Appropriate string index display characteristics will be predicted from general information about a searcher and a query.


  1. A toy or video game based on string indexing will be marketed.
  2. All kinds of string indexing will become completely automatic, thanks to developments in artificial intelligence.
  3. All kinds of string indexing will become completely unnecessary, having been superseded by superior techniques.

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