1. I got tired of using all the locators and UI stuff from the distance tool and dug around and found this thingy-me-bobby, called the distanceBetween node. It's setup is a bit like the pointOnCurveInfo node (command line, etc) and there are some tricky bits to get the proper readings, but it's certainly cleaner in your rig and pretty easy to setup as a mel script (I'll post the code I use here on my blog since it may be a bit hard to read here).

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