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“Swiss Army chainsaw” is a term used in IT to refer to a tool that is versatile, yet difficult to use. It has been applied to different kinds of scripting languages and other software tools.
A lot of definitions of Swiss Army chainsaw describe the software in question as clunky, inelegant, crude or noisy. One of the biggest examples of a Swiss Army chainsaw is the Perl scripting language which became somewhat synonymous with that deprecating term. Some suggest that Perl code tends to look jumbled on the screen. Others talk about a lack of user-friendly design or clear syntax. The phrase Swiss Army chainsaw has also been applied to other things like lexical analyzer generators in UNIX.