Technical Blog

YubNub Toolbar

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If you hadn’t heard of YubNub before, now you have. The basic concept is easy to grasp — typing “g test” takes you to a goole search for ‘test’ and “wink test” takes you to a wink search for test, etc. Although much more powerful than search engines, that’s a good place to start.

If you send YubNub a raw URL it will take you there without processing. This enables one to use YubNub as your location bar directly. Problems with this approach have been that the search box in firefox (where YubNub has traditionally resided for FF users) is very small and does not update on page load.

Solution? Write a new FireFox extension to replace the location bar with YubNub. Done. This is my first ever FireFox extension, so it may be a bit quirky. I’d appreciate feedback and bug reports, but cannot guarentee I can do anything about it, since my XUL etc knowledge is very limited at this point.

I have released version 0.11. Install or reinstall using instructions below, uninstall previous version first if updating. New features for this version include: integration with browser history, display of favicons, display of feed icon/security icon where applicable, alt+k selects textbox, icon on Go button same as standard Go button.

Steps to install plugin:

  1. Download the XPI file
  2. Open your Firefox ‘Extensions’ window and drag the XPI file on it
  3. Restart Firefox

5 Responses


Nice. Is there a shortcut for moving to the bar and highlighting the contents? Like ctrl+K for the normal cmd bar? Is there a way I can assign a shortcut? Ideally I’d like to have Ctrl+K work. Also, if it looked nicer, ie fitted in with the other buttons etc – to perfectly replace the address bar… But very nice work!!



By coincidence, the creator of Yubnub, Jon Aquino, is a senior developer for Ning!


@Stian – Well as for ‘look nicer’ that’s my very weakpoint… my XUL knowledge is about a zero. Perhaps it would help some if you were a little more specific however? For Ctrl+K to work I would have to override the Firefox defaults… which I’m sure is possible, but when I looked into it the code got really messy really fast… Try the keyconfig extension though, I’ve never used it but I’ve heard that it can do things like that. If you get it to work let me know 🙂

@Trev – Usually when you say there already is one I go there and they’ve done a better job and a switch… but in this case it’s not so. RubNub does not look nicer, or have any of the features mine may be missing (ie interface with browser history, display site favicon), yet it’s missing the one feature that makes my toolbar what it is — displaying the URL of the current page to get rid of the need for a separate location bar.


>> the search box does not update on page reload.

This is actually an advantage. I can see both, the yubnub command and the actual URL! I can also type yubnub command and then use Alt + Enter to open the page on a new tab.

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