Doug Ross on Return-codes vs. Exceptions:
"Software quality, in general, sucks. The reason for this is that many developers are too lazy to instrument, monitor and and respond to all sorts of strange conditions.
In other words, many of us are undisciplined. We're more worried about "readability" (and I disagree with that contention as well - but I'll get to that) than whether or not or software will kill anyone, debit the wrong account by a million bucks, or screw up the actuarial table for 83 year-old transvestites.
Like it or not, dealing with aberrant conditions is a contract we agree to when we decide to be professional and responsible software developers. Treating "abnormal behaviour inline with normal execution" is a misstatement. We need to deal with the unexpected. And the best place to do it is the place where you can "unwind" the logic that's gone bad."