A customer recently mentioned that he wanted to provide username and password information to a function for reading and writing URLs in a password-protected environment. Modifying URLREAD to take additional inputs was easy, and it wasn’t too difficult to extract from some CSSM conversations an approach to modifying the core-MATLAB function to authenticate the password. My initial coding approach, however, required that the user visibly type (and therefore display) his password on his monitor. So the next step was implementing a dialog box that would hide passwords with a string of asterisks. While not an exceptionally daunting task, this is not necessarily trivial, either. But a quick search of the File Exchange revealed that Jeremy Smith had already implemented and posted code to do just that, in his LOGIN submission. I was able to steer the customer to Jeremy’s code, and save both of us a good bit of coding—and isn’t that what the FEX is all about? While LOGIN may not suffice for extremely secure environments, its visual masking of passwords sufficed for this customer, and for most applications that I can think of. Nice work, Jeremy!
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