Use case: Authors frequently add visual structure to texts by adding an extra newline between two paragraphs. The logical meaning conveyed is that of a structure of a higher level (i.e. a sequence of closely related paragraphs). These higher structures are then separated by the extra new line.
One way to achieve the visual effect is by using <para> and the role attribute to distinguish between a "regular" paragraph and a paragraph with extra space-before. But this doesn't capture the logical structure of the text (i.e the sequence of paragraphs as a unit).
A structure that would capture the logic is:
But this is not allowed by the dtd. Considering the description of <para> in the definitive guide, it would be appropriate to allow <simpara> within <para>: <simpara> is not a "sectioning or higher-level structure", while "it is most logical ... to include block elements in the paragraphs...".
The processing of <simpara>s within <para>s should not pose any special problem since it is a "leaf" block; other allowed block elements (like lists) are much more complicated!
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