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Relative Paths

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A podcast about web development and things like that. Hosted by Mark, a newish webby sort, and Ben an old has-been who should probably be thinking about diminishing and going into the West.

A podcast about web development and things like that. Hosted by Mark, a newish webby sort, and Ben an old has-been who should probably be thinking about diminishing and going into the West.
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A podcast about web development and things like that. Hosted by Mark, a newish webby sort, and Ben an old has-been who should probably be thinking about diminishing and going into the West.




57: Underrated Skills | Knowing when to Blackout

This week we talked about underrated skills, skills that are really useful but not often mentioned or which may be slightly outside the sphere of normal web development stuff. It was partially inspired by my so-so typing, I'm convinced that learning to touch type would be massively useful. So when we asked listeners to send us examples of underrated skills I was expecting to see practical skills like touch typing and that sort of thing sent in. But oh no, we were sent much more...


56: Gimme the cash | Tinkling the ivories

It's been 9 months since our last episode (1000 apologies) so we had much important chat to catch up with. We discussed training clients not to call out of hours, Edge browser news, Hey Duggee, Perch and a whole host of other things. We also have a favour to ask! We want to release episodes regularly, but that's tricky for us as we have to carve time out of our work schedules. We'd like to dedicate a day or two each month to record and edit episodes. We'd also like to make time to research...


55: Perch CMS | An interview with Drew McLellan

For our latest podcast episode, we spoke to Drew McLellan, co-creator of Perch and Perch Runway CMSs. I'm an avid Perch user, I built this very site with Perch, so I was particularly grateful to talk to Drew. We talked about their history and development, where Drew sees them in relation to the host of other CMSs out there (including WordPress of course), what their future holds, and the future of web development as a whole. We also had a couple of sneaky milk chocolate Mikado Sticks during...


54: Gatekeepers | The Just Problem

This is sort-of a part 2 to our Overwhelm episode (Sorry for the nounification there, we had complaints!). This episode we talk about Gatekeeping, and Gatekeeper mentality. There's a lot of aspects but it's summed up by any sentence starting with "You're not a real developer if you...". The "Just" problem comes up too. Andy helps us work out how to counteract these issues, and encourage a more productive and supportive community. Our Toolstar (been a while!) is Andy's own Dev Pal initiative...


53: Overwhelm | Donald Sutherland is Canadian

This episode we talk about being overwhelmed, out of our depth or burned-out. It's something most developers suffer with at some point. We try and identify what some of the causes of pressure are, have a bit of a pop at recruiters, clients and ourselves. I also reveal more than I intended about birds and Kate Bush as well as completely forgetting the word 'Euphoric" and other mistakes. Fun fun. After last episode's wandering, we're safely back to Electronica on the Jukebox. Mark picked...


52: Going Offline | with Jeremy Keith

Coming into this episode I didn't really know much about service workers. I assumed there were very specific use cases for them, but Jeremy opened our eyes to the fact that they allow access to some very powerful browser features and are useful across the board. We also spoke about Jeremy's recently released A Book Apart Book 'Going Offline', I'm really enjoying it. I can't put it any better than Sarah Drasner (, who said: "Jeremy Keith explains service workers...


51: State of the Union | Asbestos Brakes

It's been 5 months since our last episode. In that time I've become a father (woah) and Mark has become really popular on Instagram. So it's a sort of catch-up episode, and a moan at each other about Apple, Microsoft, CPU's and Adobe and software named after disasters. Not exactly sure what ‘State of the Union’ is, Mark suggested it and I heard it on The West Wing once so sure it’s all good. Corrections: - Spectre Vulnerability: When we recorded this and discussed the Spectre and Meltdown...


50: Jukebox Special

Tracks we discuss: 'Age of Consent' by New Order, from 'Power, Corruption and Lies' (1983). 'All my Friends' by LCD Soundsystem, from 'Sound of Silver' (2007). 'Enola Gay' by OMD, from 'Organisation' (1980). 'Aquarius' by Boards of Canada, from 'Music has a right to children' (1998). 'Sprout and the Bean' by Joanna Newsom, from 'The Milk-Eyed Mender' (2004). 'Numb' by Portishead, from 'Dummy' (1994). 'Two Months Off' by Underworld, from 'A Hundred Days Off' (2002). 'Sleep the Clock Around'...


49: Web Security | With Tim Nash

Why would anyone want to hack my website? This was one of the questions we asked WordPress Platform Lead and Developer Advocate for, Tim Nash. We talked about what the risks are, who's responsibility web security should be and what we can do to build more secure sites. Tim gave us two security focused Toolstars. Visualping ( and Versionista ( monitor sites for changes. They can be used to ensure your sites haven't been tampered with. For...


48: Progressive Enhancement | With Aaron Gustafson

In this episode we talk about the Progressive Enhancement approach to web design and development with Aaron Gustafson. He talks us through some of the advantages of adopting Progressive Enhancement (PE) versus more traditional approaches. We also discuss barriers that might prevent us using PE and Aaron makes some useful recommendations. A much more in-depth discussion of the topic is available in Aaron's book 'Adaptive Web Design: Crafting Rich Experiences with Progressive Enhancement'....


47: Dogmatism | With Chris Coyier

This was one of the most interesting, thoughtful and funny conversations we've had. We spoke to Chris Coyier about dogmatism (the expression of an opinion or belief as if it were a fact) in the web industry. We talked about why it happens, what we can to do be less dogmatic ourselves and how to deal with dogmatic people and their bombastic opinions. Our Toolstar this week was CodePen Projects, zero setup, full-featured front end web development environment, right in the browser. Chris talked...


46: CSS Grid Layout | An interview with Rachel Andrew

This week we talk CSS Grid with the amazing and great Rachel Andrew, who has been leading the charge with Grid for a while now. We talked about the origin of Grid, what we'll be able to do with it and when it's going to be ready to use (sooner that we realised). We also talked about how she got started as a developer, her work with the W3C CSS Working Group, and of course Perch CMS (my favourite). Our Toolstar is a CSS Grid Layout learning resource, Grid By Example...


45: A chat about SEO | with Elliott Richmond

This week we tackle the often thorny subject of SEO, with local dev and friend of the show Elliott Richmond. We intended this to be a bit of a potted guide to SEO, but we think it ended up being a far more interesting discussion. My Toolstar this week is Instafeed.js (, a really simple way to add Instagram images to your site. We also talked about Elliott's own Insta Grabagram WordPress plugin ( My Jukebox pick this...


44: Looking back at 2016 | They ran screaming

After a break at the end of 2016, we've start 2017 with a bit of a retrospective. Mark and I had a fairly busy year and we take a look at some of the things we did, didn't do, tried and failed. There's no Toolstar as such this time, but we acknowledge Trello as being generally pretty good! My Jukebox pick is the first 12" single I bought, Future Sound of London's 'Papua New Guinea'. Mark's pick is 'Jed's other poem' by Grandaddy, in celebration of the bands reforming! Both...


43: Perch CMS | An interview with Clive Walker

This week Ben and I are joined by Front End (or is that Front-End) developer Clive Walker to talk about Perch CMS. We have a lot of positive things to say about it, it's powerful and flexible, but easy to use. We also talk about Perch's many free add-ons, including the recently added Perch Shop e-commerce platform. Just so you know, we're not being sponsored by Perch, we just really like it. It's become my CMS of choice, and I reckon it's well worth trying out. Clive also tells us about the...


42: PC versus Mac | Apple comes down the mountain

Following Apple's New Macbook Pro announcement on Oct 27th 2016, we felt the need to discuss the matter of PC's vs Mac again. Things have changed since last time ( Jukebox: Mark's pick is 'Rustling and Pure' by Cass. Ben's choice is 'Butterflies' by Anchorsong. Both make their way onto the Relative Paths Spotify playlist: Show links: Benjamin Button Review -...


41: Working with Designers | Do you Etch-a-Sketch?

This week we spoke with designer and co-host of the Deeply Graphic Design Cast Mikelle Morrison about the sometimes tricky subject of designers and developers working together. Mikelle gives lots of insight into what developers and designers can do to cooperate successfully without too much drama. We didn't have an official Toolstar this week, but Mikelle and Ben talked about how much they liked Sketch (I'm a Windows user so I sat in the corner). My track for the Relative Paths Playlist was...


40: Going Limited | Daft Bunk

This episode we're pleased to welcome back Mark Wilkinson, first interviewed in Episode 29. We quiz Mark about his leap from 'sole-trading freelancer' to the founder of Limited company 'Highrise Digital'. Mark W provides lots of useful information for anyone considering a similar move: financial matters, VAT, partnering up, and employees. Mark W's picked the Toolstar, and chose QuickCast, a simple to use screencasting app, providing easy recording, publishing and sharing....


39: HTTPS | Deliver some dog justice

This episode we tackle HTTPS. What it is, what's changed over the years, and why you should be using it now. We also touch on HTTP/2 where relevant and talk about some ways to make the jump to HTTPS if you've not done so already. We reference info from a lot of sites, links are in the show notes on our website. Mark's Toolstar is Why No Padlock, a web service for easily and quickly identifying insecure site content that might prohibit a browser from displaying a 'secure' padlock symbol in...


38: Mistakes x 2 | It's a bit like mousetrap

We had a recording go bad a little while ago and ended up losing a potentially very good episode and wasting a guests time. So this week we talked about what happened and what to do when things go wrong. It's all fixed now though! We also talk a bit more about PC vs Mac and my second thoughts about making the switch, and limited edition Muse CD's. Our Toolstar and sponsor this week is Loopback, cable free audio routing by Rogue Amoeba. Loopback gives you the power of a high-end studio mixing...