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Yes. However in Lab, the scaling for a and b are the same, differing only by an offset, which is removed if you take the difference using only "a" and "b". So if you wanted to check to see if the color was similar looking, and not worry about the "L" component, then you could just form a norm on the "a" and the "b" parts.

Myself I just use the floating point version, which is left alone.