Try this, it's a little different, though it only works on leading whitespace:
It uses the \G anchor with the /g flag to start where the previous match left off, replacing spaces with nothing as it goes along.
It's from p. 245 of Effective Perl Programming by Joseph N. Hall and Randal Schwartz (merlyn).
Randal, if there's a problem with me quoting this stuff, just let me know.
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