PHP can fork() and has done so since 4.1.0!
If you have xwrits running and you’re on IRC, change your “away message” to tell the people who are waiting on your reply why you’re taking so long!
When writing init scripts using the Red Hat daemon function, if you’re starting up long running scripts that don’t go into the background themselves, use the following to start them:
daemon "script.sh &"
That’ll launch the script using initlog and pass the & along to initlog so that the init script can exit normally.