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Subject: Whitespace handling in "para" elements


I have used DocBook several times for Technical Documentation with the
"dblatex" workflow, what really produced a nice output with less work
than creating it with LaTeX directly. :-)

But now I'm forced to produce some MS Word output. The "roundtrip" is
already a good starting point, but contains some bugs, that I try to fix
on the way to my desired documents.

My today's question is the desired whitespace handling inside the "para"

  How are spaces ( ), newlines (
), carriage returns (
) in
  the "para" element handled in other output formats?

The current roundtrip preserves all the whitespaces except the first

  The first "newline" is dropped, all following are converted into "soft

  "carriage returns" are all preserved!

  What is the reason for this behaviour?

The only hint I could find in TDG was the chapter about "Line-specific
block elements". [1] This chapter would suggest to normalize all spaces
in "para" elements.

So, what to do?

I would be very glad about any comments.

[1] http://www.docbook.org/tdg51/en/html/ch02.html#s.line-specific

Kind regards...

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