Trying to understand Note templates (rendering of html)

I've learned a lot from but there are two things I can't seem to figure out:

1. Which/ under what circumstances are html-tags dismissed (i.e. not rendered in the output)? I am trying to add an empty line at the end of an exported annotation/highlight. So I'm working with the extensions.zotero.annotations.noteTemplates.highlight; and tried adding various tags at the end (e.g. <br><br>, <p></p>, <p>&nbsp;</p>, <p><br></p>) but all of them are ignored in the output unless I add some actual characters to it, like <p>something</p>. So it looks like html code is ignored when it results in nothing but whitespace, is that correct? If so, is there any way of deliberately producing whitespace, i.e. an empty line, in my case?

2. I am trying to understand the purpose of the if-clause in the example given on the instructions page:
<blockquote>{{highlight}}</blockquote><p>{{citation}}</p>{{if comment}}<p>{{comment}}</p>{{endif}}

From what I can see


would do the same since the paragraph tags around the {{comment}}-variable are dismissed when the the variable is empty. Am I missing something?
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