keyboard layouts - US International as ultimate solution?

As I grew up in Germany my keyboard layout has always been the QWERTZ based German keyboard layout. The main difference between QWERTY keyboard layouts is that the Z and Y keys are swapped and most special characters are moved to third level as the German language uses umlaut (diacritic) characters like ä, ö and ü and the ligature ß.

German keyboard layout

German keyboard layout © Wikimedia Commons

This is very handy for writing German text but if you program in programming languages like C, C++, Perl, PHP, ... where brackets like [] and {} and slash/backslash are frequently used it's a pain to use it. So I decided to change to the US keyboard layout, which I thought is the best choice as it is very popular. The problem was, that typing umlaut characters is very circumstantial as there is no standard method. Continue reading