While it looks nice, Gravatar is slow as crystals forming on a frozen monkey's ass. This has led to the necessity of having to write a daily grab-and-cache system for the images. If it's that bad, why don't we just write something ourselves that doesn't suck?
Poor URI design at gravatar.com: http://www.gravatar.com/avatar.php?gravatar_id=aae56c6a384319c00094d626845f6b6d
It costs money ($10/year) to have more than one email address added to the system. Frankly, the commercial aspirations of the person who runs Gravatar are embarassingly transparent. That went out with the bubble, guy. If you're going to propose a "global" system like this, you have to do it for free, because that's what people expect - cf. OpenID. If you don't, somebody else will. (I wouldn't be surprised if someone in the Perl community up and does it, simply because of how poor gravatar.com is.)
Talking of OpenID, I commented on one of the above posts that I'd only use Gravatar if it supported OpenID logins. I've been signing up to various websites for well over a decade now, and I'm dog tired. It's bad enough that I have separate PAUSE and BitCard and use.perl logins already; now we're going to throw in yet another incompatible system?
Yes, I know, as Schwern points out, that implementing OpenID support in PAUSE and Gravatar would take some work. The burden here falls largely on Gravatar. PAUSE doesn't need to fully support OpenID logins yet, but it could simply have a field for OpenID URIs in user settings and query Gravatar on that basis.
Not every search.cpan user reads use.perl.org. Adding this feature to search.cpan.org without wider consultation is, I feel, a mistake.
Having a user picture on author pages is fine, but I don't want my ugly mug staring out at people from documentation for my modules. Sorry, but that just looks unprofessional.
If you're going to add "social" features, you have to go the whole hog. Add user accounts to search.cpan, with preferences. One of those preferences must be "Display author pictures?"
Where is Graham? Why has he not participated in any discussions on this site so far, and we have to email our comments to him? And why is the code that runs search.cpan.org not open? I've heard that question asked over and over, and we've never had a satisfactory response.
Before we start adding new stuff, can't we get our own house in order first?
Yes, I know these are all different projects, but even though they're all fairly-well accepted by now, there's barely any interconnection between them, and they don't even have similar URIs. We're a mess.
Until some more thought has been put into this, I think I'm going to follow the example of LotR on #perl and add gravatar.com (and search.cpan.org cached copies) to my AdBlock filters.