Two days ago, on MATLAB Newsgroup, I found Greggory asking something about "urlread" which is lack of TIMEOUT capability. And such a deficiency often leads to an embarrassing and horriable situation that main function gets freezed easily when the network is busy or abnormal.
At the beginning, I tried to follow the asker by using a timer, but it failed finally. The reason I thought is that timer can not interrupt the
task being busy at all and yet MATLAB doesn't have a scheme for using multi-threads so far. Fortunately, I discovered another hope that a part of urlread is written in JAVA. So I tried to modify the urlread function by adding a "timeout" parameter, enabling it to automatically stop the request at a time the user specified.