In speech and writing, the meaning of context is:

1.1 The parts of something written or spoken that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning:

HTML or XML codes seem to use the broader sense of context:

Consider the hierarchical structure of a document in XML

<header> English language Usage </header>
     Is it a good object?
     No this is a good for export!

For example any container in a webpage could be counted as context for the sub-elements (e.g. header, body, question, answer,...), but those containers are not necessarily immediately before or after.

Imposing boundaries (e.g. starting and ending points) on this context within a webpage, we might apply the verbs open and close metaphorically in sentences like these:

  • This element opens a context which expands to its related elements...
  • To close this context, we should specify an ending ....

Are there any other useful verbs that could be used to talk about imposing these boundaries of context?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Edwin Ashworth, Mari-Lou A, Kristina Lopez, ScotM, dwjohnston Jun 23 '15 at 5:32

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  • I doubt you can open or close context. It is called 'context' because it exists all around text or speech and is not something we can exactly measure. – Sander Jun 20 '15 at 8:52
  • @Sander, I myself defined the term, specially in Web pages, to denote different parts of a page (e.g. footer, header, content, sidebar,....) then I am not sure with this artificial concept, can I use those verbs? – Ahmad Jun 20 '15 at 8:54
  • To specify different parts of pages I would use a phrase similar to to move on to the next subject... – Sander Jun 20 '15 at 8:56
  • If you yourself are defining a non-standard usage, is it sensible to ask for collocates / idiomatic usages? – Edwin Ashworth Jun 20 '15 at 23:47
  • @EdwinAshworth No, but I would like to get sure its not too odd, and a future reader can imagine it in the context. – Ahmad Jun 21 '15 at 11:33

I would say "This word marks the beginning of the context" or "The context begins with this word."

"Closing a context" is getting into programming thought patterns rather than general perceptions of speech context. A context has an ending, of course, but we don't normally think of it as "remaining open unless explicitly closed". In programming, you must identify the character positions in the text stream which mark the context boundaries, or identify the DOM elements that start and end the context.

  • Thank you, then you say it's sensible to call a portion of a Web page which begins with a DOM element and ends with another DOM element, or begins with a opening tag like <div> and end with a closing tag (</div>) a context? – Ahmad Jun 20 '15 at 18:42
  • 1
    Yes, in programming contexts, the document is a context; each container node in the document is a context;, and since the model is nested, you have nested contexts. – TRomano Jun 20 '15 at 19:07
  • However maybe I can use pattern instead of context! Do you recommend that? – Ahmad Jun 23 '15 at 15:56
  • Pattern seems rather too general. Context suggests a boundedness in a way that pattern does not. – TRomano Jun 23 '15 at 19:53

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