Find next lexicographic - permutation (permutations as it would occur in a dictionary order).
E.g: nextP('ABCD') = ABDC
If you can generate the next permutation, then you can also generate a 'cycle' of all permutations using a construct like,
cycle = +1; curr = start; while ( true ) curr = nextP(curr); if ( curr == start ) break; end cycle = cycle+1; end
For fun, you could generate all the n! permutations of a, unique n-letter string.
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