Still working on customizing keyboard input. Found out about xmodmap. This seems to be the place where I should be able to add definitions stating “wenn Alt+a is pressed, enter ā”.
Found out key codes with xev, which I really like. Could spend all day hitting keys and watching how the command line blurts out what I just did in oh so many numbers, symbols and scientifically sounding words. A brilliant social metaphor for modernity. Still inferior to chatting with the washing machine, though.
Editing .Xmodmap in the user directory has effects, but not with modifyer keys like Alt or Ctrl, and not with Unicode characters. Am suspecting something is wrong with my X setup. Will continue suspecting tomorrow.