MATLAB Answers

Jim Hokanson

getting full HTTP response to HTTP request in urlread

Asked by Jim Hokanson
on 10 Mar 2011

Currently urlread uses the command: urlConnection.getInputStream

and then proceeds to do something fairly confusing to me with copying streams via some unsupported stream copier to produce the final output

Unfortunately when there is an error in my request I get nebulous errors instead of the actual error response. Even when I get a successful request, I am still unable to see the headers which can contain important information for what I am doing.

Example error: Server returned HTTP response code: 400 for URL:

By using Matlab's proxy settings I can observe the details of the requests through "Fiddler", which has been most helpful, but it would be nice to be able to observe things more concretely in Matlab.



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1 Answer

Answer by Jim Hokanson
on 17 Mar 2011
 Accepted answer

Here's my answer to this problem, although it might have some bugs ...

getHeaderField was needed, note getHeaderField(0) is the response like 400 or 401

In addition, I added getErrorStream, which the server I am working with sends when there is an error

I still don't like the stream copier ...

allHeaders = struct('Response',char(urlConnection.getHeaderField(0)));
done = false;
headerIndex = 0;
while ~done
    headerIndex = headerIndex + 1;
    headerValue = char(urlConnection.getHeaderField(headerIndex));
    if ~isempty(headerValue)
        headerName = char(urlConnection.getHeaderFieldKey(headerIndex));
        headerName(headerName == '-') = '_';
        allHeaders(1).(headerName) = headerValue;
        done = true;
status = struct('value',urlConnection.getResponseCode(),...
isGood = true;
    inputStream = urlConnection.getInputStream;
catch ME
        inputStream = urlConnection.getErrorStream;
    catch ME %#ok<*NASGU>
        isGood = false;
if isGood
    byteArrayOutputStream =;
    % This StreamCopier is unsupported and may change at any time. OH GREAT :/
    isc = InterruptibleStreamCopier.getInterruptibleStreamCopier;
    output = native2unicode(typecast(byteArrayOutputStream.toByteArray','uint8'),'UTF-8');
    output = '';


Jim Hokanson
on 30 Jun 2011

This code appears to work fine with the exception of cookies since the Set-Cookie header can be repeated (maybe others?). Maybe I'll eventually get around to releasing a urlread v2.0, with much more support for both request and response headers ...

Ray Lee
on 6 May 2013

so, have u released your urlread v2?

Jim Hokanson
on 7 Jul 2013

Yes. It is available on the FEX exchange.

For an outline of the code see:

I'm also currently working on a v3 (not sure of the name yet). It will be class based and provide a much more intuitive interface for constructing input parameters and parsing output parameters.

In particular the outline will be: 1) Create request object 2) Modify request properties via methods 3) Make request, get response object

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