Rails controller limits time spent on shell commands?


I’m writing an admin controller for a client with a need for uploading
lots of images (no, not porn :). I wrote a {gasp] perl script to parse
jpeg and exif headers and then produce a text file and then a simple
shell script to upload that text file into the database. The problem is
that when I run them from a shell, they work and when I run them from
the web app the text file does not complete. It runs about 80% of the
way and then just stops. The text file just stops adding characters at
the same point. It takes about 20 seconds in the web app before control
is given back to the user.

Has anyone had a similar problem?