In support of my previous statement, pyrogallol plus sodium hydroxide is used routinely in the sciences to scavenge oxygen from closed systems. If there is very little oxygen present there is little color change indicating decomposition. So in the absence of oxygen even this very unstable mixture is stable. I have vials of Neofin Blue that are decades old. They are still colorless since no oxygen can get in. Yet break the seal and the developer is quickly spoiled. So the danger to developers is not their alkalinity but exposure to oxygen. For most developers, which I assume the poster is talking about, leaving the alkali out makes little difference. As Michael pointed out certain special developers are an exception unless one does something similar to what Tetenal does.