It depends on the implementation by the switch vendor. I know Brocade "quick-loop" provides point-to-point connectivity through the switch to any port configured as a quick-loop port. Cable lengths are the same as in a fabric. The only difference really is that the switch port becomes an "FL" port and provides translation and name server mapping of the FC-AL devices and IDs in the public loop to the fabric devices in the switch.
This was first published in October 2001