Embracing the Compose Key

Caps Lock is one of the most useless key on any keyboard so for the longest of time I have remapped it as an extra Control key. This is easily done in most Linux desktop environments. Control is of course used frequently in many editors (such as GNU Emacs. Now I think I have found a better use for this key as a Compose key. It finally feels like all commonly used tools are UTF-8 aware. Foremost terminals and text editors. Most programming language interpreters and compilers now accept UTF-8 text input instead of ASCII or some extended ASCII variant such as Latin 1. This means that one is free to use Unicode symbols more freely instead of ad hoc ASCII multi character sequences in most forms of communication.

For example:

I have found a few commit messages in the Go GIT repo using such symbols. Maybe its picking up.

On Linux systems the default set of compose key sequences can be found in the file /usr/share/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose. See man Compose for further information.

Published: 2020-01-12