Detaching Rails Processes

In my latest app, I’m emailing reports to people who click on a link. (Yes, I know this should be a button, but I just did it with a link because it was easy. If I have time, I’ll change it to a button.) Anyway, I’m attempting to use Process.fork to do this. What I have that works is:

  def email_monthly_report
    monthyear = params[:monthyear]
    process = Process.fork do
      ReportMailer.send_monthly_report(current_user, monthyear).deliver
#      Process.kill("HUP", process)
    redirect_to monthly_report_projects_path(:month => monthyear), 
                :notice => "Report sent to #{current_user.fullname}<#{}>"

From everything that I’ve read, that Process.kill(“HUP”, process) line should be required. If I uncomment it, the email gets sent and the page is redirected correctly, but I get an error in the log.

projects_controller.rb:74:in `kill': no implicit conversion from nil to integer (TypeError)

My line process=Process.fork is always sets process to nil. So I apparently need to figure out how fork works. Time to fire up irb.

ruby-1.9.2-p0 > pid = fork do
ruby-1.9.2-p0 >     a = 100
ruby-1.9.2-p0 ?>  end
 => 67773 
ruby-1.9.2-p0 > pid.class
 => Fixnum 
ruby-1.9.2-p0 > pid
 => 67773 
ruby-1.9.2-p0 > Process.kill("HUP",pid)
 => 1 
ruby-1.9.2-p0 > exit

So what am I doing wrong? I really don’t want to kill the process, I just want to let it finish whenever it does. If I just take out the Process.kill line, everything does work as expected. Would there be a chance that the process could get stuck and I would need the kill line? I don’t know. But since I can’t get things to work properly with it, I’m just going to leave it out.