Rapid - 1 year ago 59

Python Question

I was wondering if there was a function built into Python that can determine the distance o between to rational numbers but without me telling it which number is larger.

i.e.

`>>>distance(6,3)`

3

>>>distance(3,6)

3

Obviously I could write a simple definition to calculate which is larger and then just do a simple subtraction

`def distance(x, y):`

if x >= y:

result = x - y

else:

result = y - x

return result

but I'd rather not have to call an in house function like this, from my limited experience I've often found Python has a built in function or a module that does exactly what you want and quicker than your code does it. Hopefully someone can tell me there is a built in function that can do this.

Answer Source

`abs(x-y)`

will do exactly what you're looking for:

```
In [1]: abs(1-2)
Out[1]: 1
In [2]: abs(2-1)
Out[2]: 1
```