Thank you for the hints given. I'll look into the various options given.
The main reason for the need for a persistent flag in memory is that
several installations where the PHP code would be deployed do not have
access to crontab, so I am simulating crontab's functionality by letting
a PHP script run forever. Page visits would start that script, but once
the first visitor has started the script, next visitors would only start
it if the script had died. Here is where the persistent flag is needed.
Normally the script will never die unless at server reboot, or perhaps
if some timeout limit has been exceeded. If I would touch a file in the
filesystem as a flag, this would persist even after server reboot, so
that means that my simulated crontab would never restart, since it looks
like it runs. Teus.

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