Before EDIT, there was EDLIN.
Author: Microsoft Homepage: http://www.microsoft.com Family: LineEditorFamily License: Commercial Platform: All releases of MS-DOS, Windows (Yes, it's in XP and Windows 7...) Screenshot: You must be joking...
MS-DOS shipped with a line editor called edlin, that could be used for creating batch files and editing configuration files. Just about anybody who used a text editor at all found a full screen editor to use instead.
As of MS-DOS 5.0, Microsoft shipped EDIT.COM with DOS. EDIT.COM was actually a front end for their QBASIC.EXE BASIC interpreter. It called QBASIC in its editor personality. EDLIN was still there, but few used it.
However, edlin had a useful feature that some advanced users discovered. It could be called from a batch file to make scripted edits. Unix users familiar with sed will recognize the concept.
Some advanced batch file hackers found DOS versions of SED, or other similar replacments. Others used edlin because they were in positions where they couldn't deploy third-party software (like company machines), or because they just enjoyed the challenge of seeing what could be done with "vanilla" MS-DOS. --DMcCunney