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Issue 961: When the app is over quota, respond with 503 Service Unavailable instead of 403 Forbidden
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Status:  Fixed
Owner:  ----
Closed:  Dec 2009

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Reported by alexkon, Dec 28, 2008
The documentation states that “for resources that are required to initiate
a request, when the resource is depleted, App Engine returns an HTTP 403
Forbidden status code for the request.”

Wouldn't it be more appropriate to return a 503 Service Unavailable error
in that case to notify search engine bots and other automatic clients that
this is a temporary condition due to server overloading?

I'm worried that a 403 Forbidden error might suggest to some bots that the
pages are gone more or less permanently. At least that’s what a 403 often
means in practice, so even though it's not in the spec, some bots might
decide to treat the forbidden pages as dead. That would be unfortunate.

Anyway, compare the following paragraphs from the HTTP 1.1 specification:
Dec 28, 2008
#1 alexkon
And a 503 response can include a Retry-After header specifying the date and time when
the quota is going to be replenished.
Jan 12, 2009
(No comment was entered for this change.)
Status: Acknowledged
Labels: -Type-Defect Type-Feature
Jan 25, 2009
It would be better if a custom error page could be displayed
Jan 25, 2009
#4 alexkon
I totally agree. See  issue 67 .
Oct 14, 2009
Project Member #5
We expect to change this from a 403 to a 503 at some point in the future.
Dec 8, 2009
Project Member #6
This issue was fixed in App Engine 1.2.8
Status: Fixed
Feb 15, 2010
#7 alexkon
Please update the docs. They still mention the 403 Forbidden status code.
Feb 17, 2010
#8 alexkon
Filed  issue 2792  about updating the docs.
Oct 21, 2012
App engine is returning Error 500 for OverQuotaError.It is clearly mentioned in the App engine Log. . As per the above comment it should be 503. 

Does anyone have better answer for this
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