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change in watchmaker v6 response to authenticate command


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This came up off forum and wanted to share findings.


First off to be clear,

even with watchmaker version 6 (TCP/IP communication to port 4040) you do not have to authenticate.

The version 6 user guide tends to be a bit confusing on the use of authenticate.

FYI Enabling TCP/IP control in File - Preferences - Control
is all the authentication watchmaker requires ;)


The change is the result from sending watchmaker the command

authenticate 1


version 6.1.6 responds to this unneeded command like a ping

authenticate 1
Ready "6.1.6" "WATCHMAKER" "Windows" false


version 5.5.2 (and earlier) responds with an error

Ready "5.5.2" "WATCHMAKER" "Windows" true
authenticate 1
Error 7 0 "Unrecognized command: authenticate"


Sending or never sending authenticate command to watchmaker v6.x makes no difference
to the way the rest of the watchmaker IP control works.


This kind of minutiae does not seem to make it in to release notes :(.

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You're correct, Jim (as usual). This change was made in WO6 production software to make it behave like the display software here, thus making protocol clients targeting both programs easier to maintain (since the same authentication sequence can be used with both, with similar reponse, rather than an error in one case). But, as you say, authentication isn't really required on the production software (all that's needed is the checkbox in preferences).


As a side note, the whole "authenticate" dance was originally devised to allow for some kind of password protection of display computers. In such a case, the response would be different, and the controller would have to "authenticate" itself by means of a password (that should really have been "authorize", but I wasn't very clear on the terminology here when I wrote that part of the protocol way back).



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