This is a fairly simple challenge.

Write a program that computes the distance between two points on a 2D plane. However, you can't use any functions or operators (referred to here as symbols) that are 1 character long.


  • -=, +=, *=, /=, %=, etc. are allowed.
  • ||, &&, --, ++ are allowed as well.
  • +, -, /, * are not allowed.
  • f(x) is not allowed, but fn(x) is.
  • S 5 4 is not allowed, but SUM 5 4 is.
  • if(lol==lel) is allowed.
  • Simply putting two separate single-character operators one after the other is not allowed, eg. !!(true) isn't allowed.


  • Single semicolons or the equivalent are allowed, e.g. foo();, as long as they are being used as an end-of-command symbol.
  • Commas (,) and periods (.) are allowed.
  • Parentheses (()) and other symbols that are used in such a way to require a second match are allowed. Examples:
    • foo(); is allowed, as is foo(x);.
    • [5,6] is allowed.
    • "strings" are allowed.
    • for(i+=5;;i++){} is allowed
    • if(1<2 && 2>3) is not allowed, as the symbols are being interpreted as greater than and less than symbols, and so do not require the other.
    • ([{<>}]) is allowed.
    • ][ is not allowed, as the symbols do not match.
    • Essentially, the interpreter/compiler/etc.(?) should recognize the symbols as matching.


  • Whitespace does not count for the single character rule, e.g. this == that and this ==that etc. are both allowed.
  • Standard rules for loopholes etc. apply.
  • Input can be in any reasonable format of two points. Examples:
    • [{x:0,y:0},{x:9,y:786}]*
    • [[5,4],[6,8]]
    • "54,37,68,9760"
    • new Point(0,0), new Point(5,6)
    • ["34,56","23,98657"]
    • etc.
  • Output should be a double or equivalent with 5 significant digits.
  • No eval!
  • This is code-golf, so shortest allowed and functioning code wins!

*You would have to construct the objects a different way, as colons are single symbols.

Good luck without being able to use the = operator! :P

Edit: Imaginary 5 kudo points for not using a built-in.

  • \$\begingroup\$ "f(x) is not allowed, but fn(x) is", aren't (, x and ) all one character long? You also seem to be missing a winning criterion. \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Mar 31 '17 at 12:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Feathercrown, questions like this are very hard to get right... What about "special operators"? You allow (), but what about @? ., :, = and so on? \$\endgroup\$ – Stewie Griffin Mar 31 '17 at 12:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Restricted source questions are notoriously difficult to get right, because the tend to make many language assumptions. For example here, the language Whitespace has no effective restrictions. For future challenges, I recommend posting to the Sandbox where you can get meaningful feedback and iron out details before posting a challenge to Main. \$\endgroup\$ – AdmBorkBork Mar 31 '17 at 12:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Are all strings allowed? In python: eval("a+b") it's a valid string, but it will be executed as code \$\endgroup\$ – Felipe Nardi Batista Mar 31 '17 at 13:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ You say that semicolons are allowed as line ending symbols but for(i+=5;;i++){} is disallowed? The semicolons in a for loop are line ending symbols. Just because they commonly don't have a newline after them does not mean that they are some type of operator. \$\endgroup\$ – Ad Hoc Garf Hunter Mar 31 '17 at 14:00

Python 2, 35 bytes

print abs(input().__sub__(input()))

Example input for points (5,4) and (6,8):




Try it online!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @nimi . and , are allowed, however = is not, which is going to be the hard part for most languages. \$\endgroup\$ – Feathercrown Mar 31 '17 at 13:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nini fixed it, as () and . are now allowed \$\endgroup\$ – Felipe Nardi Batista Mar 31 '17 at 13:07

Mathematica, 17 bytes


A function invoked like EuclideanDistance[{5,4}, {6,8}]. Works in other dimensions as well.

Mathematica and its long command names thank you for your support.

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JavaScript, 10 bytes


Returns a function that does the job. For 13 bytes, I can do it using only paired puncutation:

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R, 33 bytes


Try it online!

R, 26 bytes

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Octave, 20 bytes


Takes input on the form: [5+4j, 6+8j].

Anonymous functions can't be used since @ is a single character. It takes a vector with two complex numbers as input, calculated the difference, and takes the absolute value.

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