I don't konow the Altman paper but I am interested in reading more oft it. In the net I could not find anything.
Some of the effects are well known
- High content of sulfite reduces the grain but gives less sharpness (the grain itself is not sharp)
- Diluted developer works slightly grainier but sharper (this is the sulfite effect)
- Developers without redox system give sharper images because auf the edge effect. Well known types are Rodinal and CG 512 / Rollei RLS
- Very diluted developers give weak highlights: The developer gets exhausted before.
- Bromide inhibits devlopment with most of the developing agents: Bromide reach developers give more contrasty images and cleaerer highlights if you develop a positive image. Bromide acts more if you agitate less.
In my younger years I learned boundary layer chemistry (but not photographic chemistry). Most of the effects can be explained and understand.