I really, really hope they don't let Joel anywhere near development tools anymore. He made asinine comments about exceptions awhile back; now he's decided to remove all doubts about his lack of comprehension:
Now, when I’m writing a dinky script to gather up a bunch of data and print it once a day, heck yeah, exceptions are great. I like nothing more than to ignore all possible wrong things that can happen and just wrap up the whole damn program in a big ol’ try/catch that emails me if anything ever goes wrong. Exceptions are fine for quick-and-dirty code, for scripts, and for code that is neither mission critical nor life-sustaining. But if you’re writing an operating system, or a nuclear power plant, or the software to control a high speed circular saw used in open heart surgery, exceptions are extremely dangerous.
I know people will assume that I’m a lame programmer for failing to understand exceptions properly and failing to understand all the ways they can improve my life if only I was willing to let exceptions into my heart, but, too bad. The way to write really reliable code is to try to use simple tools that take into account typical human frailty, not complex tools with hidden side effects and leaky abstractions that assume an infallible programmer.
That's right Joel - we should always return error codes instead, passing them up through 10, 15, 20 (insert your own value here) calls until we get back to the point in the code where the problem can be handled. All because Joel is deluded, and thinks that an exception handler is the same as a goto.
In his preferred world, when a problem crops up deep in the bowels of the app, how does he propose to deal with it? Damned if I know; I'm not sure he knows either. I'd go through all this again, but I already did - read this, and this.
I'll make one other point - in Smalltalk, you can resume execution from the point where things blew up - because the stack hasn't been tossed by the time you get to the exception. Maybe what Joel needs to do is learn a programming language that doesn't suck.
Please, take his code editor away. Quickly.