Exceptions are useful for expressing jumps in program flow that span levels of function invocation. If you realize many levels up on the stack that a problem has occurred — a disk is full or a network connection has been lost — you may only be able to reasonably deal with that fact much lower down on the call stack. Throwing an exception at the point of discovery and catching at the point where it can be handled is much better than cluttering all the intervening code with explicit checks for all the possible exceptional conditions, none of which can be handled.
Exceptions cost. They are a form of design leakage. The fact that the called method throws an exception influences the design and implementation of all possible calling methods until the method is reached that catches the exception.
They make it difficult to trace the flow of control, since adjacent statements can be in different methods, objects, or packages. Code that could be written with conditionals and messages, but is implemented with exceptions, is fiendishly difficult to read as you are forever trying to figure out what more is going on than a simple control structure.
In short, express control flows with sequence, messages, iteration, and conditionals (in that order) wherever possible. Use exceptions when not doing so would confuse the simply communicated main flow.
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