the funny thing is, noble,
the recommendation i gave him
was ansco 130 1:6 72º tray shuffle
for 8.5 minutes, which is pretty much
the instructions that were on every can of
gaf universal developer ( which ansco 130 is a first cousin of ).
i have been using this developer with those exact times, dilutions and temperatures
( every film i process no matter the asa, or exposure ) for about 13 years, maybe more ...
and like the recommendations on a packet of d76 or xtol i usually suggest the time is a starting point &c.
i agree, it really isn't rocket science processing a roll of film, or a stack of sheet film,
but there are factors besides developer and film ...
when i agitate a small tank i usually spin it and rotate the whole tank infront of me, like a mobius strip ...
10 seconds / minutes ... i have watched others agitate, they barely move the tank, or they shake the tank
or they roll it on the sink-floor or countless other agitation methods ... my film, processed for the same time
and my agitation scheme comes out differently, noticeably different, than the other ways i mentioned ...
i have a unicolor drum as well, and when i process in that, my film comes out differently than someone's jobo ...
with the film developing time adjusted for the rotary processor.
i agree normal development is kind of normal ... but one person's normal might look different than another's.
maybe the only way these film + developer tests can be helpful is if they are done by one person with the same developing methodology.
that is what the endless zone system or beyond the zone system ( film tests for personal film speed ) are all about, but in the end
it is a personal film speed ...
i think it would be an interesting experiment to have a thread that is only one specific type of film, and people post attachments to it showing
whatever film and a note as to how it was developed ... granted there will be a million photographs that all look the same, but there will be
a handful of images on either end of the spectrum that show the extremes the film can handle, so if someone wants extreme grain or extreme tonality
or both they can see an image like that, and use whatever method stated as a starting point, realizing their results may look nothing like the posted results ...
maybe that is what the OP was asking for ?