One of the thing I lost when I switched from Vim to Kakoune is digraphs. Vim’s digraphs lets you to input non-ASCII characters by replacing multiple-characters combinations with the corresponding Unicode character. I was born in France and I need to input accented letters when I write to my folks back home. Because I use a QWERTY keyboard, I used Vim’s digraphs to get around the lack of Latin characters on that keyboard’s layout by entering the accented digraphs in Vim. With Kakoune I needed to find another solution. I looked at different solutions like digraph.kak, but I didn’t want to depend on an external program or a plug-in to do this.
After digging a bit more I found this blog post that mentioned the altgr-intl variant of the US keyboard layout in X.org. It uses the right Alt key as a dead key to input accented characters. It’s easy to set-up, I added the following line in my .xsession file:
setxkbmap -rules evdev -model evdev -layout us -variant altgr-intl
The US-altgr-intl layout works well and I got used to it quickly, it doesn’t interfere with my usual workflow since I rarely use the right Alt key. For me this is a better solution than Vim’s digraphs, because it works with every X11 application like web browsers and terminals, and it keeps my Kakoune configuration lightweight.