C++ – Shortest way to calculate difference between two numbers

c++math

I'm about to do this in C++ but I have had to do it in several languages, it's a fairly common and simple problem, and this is the last time. I've had enough of coding it as I do, I'm sure there must be a better method, so I'm posting here before I write out the same long winded method in yet another language;

Consider the (lilies!) following code;

``````// I want the difference between these two values as a positive integer
int x = 7
int y = 3
int diff;
// This means you have to find the largest number first
// before making the subtract, to keep the answer positive
if (x>y) {
diff = (x-y);
} else if (y>x) {
diff = (y-x);
} else if (x==y) {
diff = 0;
}
``````

This may sound petty but that seems like a lot to me, just to get the difference between two numbers. Is this in fact a completely reasonable way of doing things and I'm being unnecessarily pedantic, or is my spidey sense tingling with good reason?

Best Solution

Just get the absolute value of the difference:

``````#include <cstdlib>
int diff = std::abs(x-y);
``````