Closers and trailers [167]

Abstract

Using <closer> to group together information at the bottom of a division (especially in letters); the usual contents of <closer>; difference between <closer> and <trailer>

Discussion

The <closer> element serves the same kind of function as <opener>, but at the end of a <div> rather than at the beginning. It groups together the elements which typically fall at the end of a textual division (especially letters), such as signatures, salutes, and dates. The significant elements it may contain are:

<dateLine>

<respLine>

<salute>

<signed>

The WWP always uses <closer> when one or more of these elements is present.

Closers and trailers are fairly close in function, but not identical. The WWP defines the differences as follows:

<closer> is for things which are part of the form of the thing whose end is being marked: for instance, the closing salutation of a letter, the date or signature at the end of a poem.

By contrast, a <trailer> marks the end of the division itself--it is not part of the content of the section or division, but is rather part of its enclosure. Things which are typically encoded within <trailer> include words like “Finis” or “The End”, or any other statement of conclusion which appears at the end of a division, such as “Here ends the first Chapter” or “That’s all, folks”. Much less frequent, but illustrative: the word “Unfinished” following the end of an unfinished poem.

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