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-1

Greek mythology. Echo, by trying to protect Zeus, she endured Hera's wrath. Hera made her only able to speak the last words spoken to her. Thus an echo. So, echo text to screen, echo string to file. When you shout into a cave, you get an echo, it's a metaphor for saying that the object was repeated, or rebroadcasted.


15

Great stuff on the the MS/PC-DOS and CP/M history in the other answers. I'd add that batch files come from the heritage (in early DOS, CP/M, and on mainframes and other systems) of script files, intended to save the "console operator" typing and allow them to leave the "console" while the potentially time-consuming steps were being sequentially executed. ...


41

ECHO ON was chosen as the default setting when interpreting batch files to preserve backwards compatibility. In PC-DOS 1.0, COMMAND.COM displayed each command as it interpreted it, and this couldn’t be disabled. ECHO was added in PC/MS-DOS 2.0, with a dual purpose (displaying messages, and controlling the display of batch file commands); its default is ON so ...


6

In most cases, having commands echo to the console was harmless, and helped provide a form of progress indicator for whatever task the batch file was performing. The only times that such echo would be problematic would be when the batch file was trying to format a screen layout for itself. Having a screen look like: A>echo Please type one of the ...


14

The choice for the default is between seeing what's going on and not seeing what's going on. Specifically, should each command line of a batch file be shown as it's executed or not. It seems reasonable to show them to assist in debugging, rather than hide them until you know the command in the manual that turns it on. This was in the days of reading the ...


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