I don't know what the full back story is behind this, but I've noticed that CPAN is going down a lot lately.
As the first port of call for anyone searching Perl documentation, I think this reflects really badly on the community - I mean, if I wasn't sold on Perl, started looking into it and hit errors on the language's main (edit: "main module documentation") web site, I'd be thinking something along the lines of, "If they can't keep up a web site, how can we rely on Perl as a technology?".
Is there no way that maybe the error pages could be updated if the server situation is not easily fixable? Surely it would be better to display more than just "504 Gateway Time-out" ??? Maybe something more descriptive, in a formatted HTML page that links to other Perl resources (Perlmonks, perl.com. perldocs.net etc).
It a little embarrassing when I'm excitedly discussing a cool aspect of Perl and then try to send that person the CPAN page, only to hit an error message. What can be done to fix this?
(edited title for clarity)