The preparation of a new account of the pteridophytes of the whole Malayan region is a very large undertaking, and when one is at the beginning of it, one cannot foresee what may happen during the course of its execution. It is in part a voyage of discovery. The work will have to be done in stages, and published in parts. To wait until it is all completed, and then to coordinate and re-arrange it before publication, would mean an unreasonably long delay. But to publish it in parts will inevitably mean that one will have new ideas about the early parts as one works on the later ones. My hope is that, when the work is finished, it will be possible to have a new and better conception of the inter-relations of the parts. Present schemes for definition of families for the great majority of ferns are no more than tentative, and that is one reason why I see no need to carry out the work in any pre-arranged sequence.