The thing is, many of those policies have fallen by the wayside or proved unworkable.
* No registration
No, and occasionally you get some troublemakers spoofing posts by known users. Joel has created a “recognized user” checkmark, which kind of amounts to after-the-fact registration.
* No user moderation
There is, now. Several users were chosen to moderate each of his forums.
* No email notifications for new posts
There is an RSS feed, though, which carries a similar risk of isolating users from each other by taking away the necessity to frequently check back with the forum.
* No posted rules
There are posted rules for the Business of Software and .NET Questions forums, though not for the main one.
* No support for quoting or reply shortcuts
People do it anyway by copy-and-paste, and frequently complain about not being able to see the post they’re replying to.
* No unread post shortcuts
No, but the board does indicate (by link color) whether there are posts you haven’t seen yet in a thread.
* Arbitrary deletion of off-topic posts
There is, both automatically by a Bayesian spam filter, and manually by the moderators, but “arbitrary” is a funny thing, isn’t it? You can never catch anything, so some egregiously offtopic or offensive posts hang around a long time, and then people wonder why their much more benign post was deleted.
I agree with much of what Joel wrote in that article, but I think what his board has demonstrated is that the problems he wrote about don’t arise from the threaded nature of Usenet discussions, but from the nature of asynchronous, text-based conversations. If you don’t give people the ability to quote in their replies, they’ll do it anyway, and complain about having to do it manually. I don’t think there are any easy answers to this problem, and I think time has shown that Joel’s proposed solutions, while effective in some respects, have created their own problems and his board, like every other web forum, has its own unique antisocial behaviors that it accidentally encourages.