Let me respond to a few comments above.
In the early 1980s I tried ABC, PMK, W2D2,and a Pyrocatechin developer forumula that had been around for many years.
Here are my comments
ABC - the grainiest of the three. Significant film speed loss - about 2 stops. There were warnings that the B solution was not stable although I did not use the formula long enough to experience a problem
Pyrocatechin - good for severe contrast scenes and minus development times. Film speed loss of about 1 stop. Dev times were too long, for my taste, for normal and plus scenes. Grain was better than ABC (better means finer). The results were slightly grainier than the next two developers.
W2D2 - this is the formula that got me started using pyrogallol. The addition of the metol gave a more normal film speed and the grain was much finer than ABC.
PMK - this was the best of the four. Essentially normal film speeds (this does not mean mfg speeds but speeds on my films that were essentially the same as what other people were getting with Tri-X, Super XX, etc). I also was able to print the best delicate high values and with good zone 1 densities I also got very good shadow detail and mid-values as well. Perhaps not quite as good for minus scenes as pyrocatechin but so close that I selected this formula because it was much more of a general purpose developer - dev times for normal and plus were much more user friendly. Sharpness was equal to or better than the W2D2 as was sharpness.
For this reason I decided to use this formula and from then on concentrate on my vision and stop looking for the 'best'developer. I have been printing on variable contrast paper for years and have continued to get the samme delicate high values I initially got on graded appers in the early 1980s.
The comment attributed to Hutchings about ABC for contact printing is something people should ask Hutchings directly rather than rely on a 3rd party source. There is some question about whether or not he really feels that way or made such a statement.
With regards to the article in progress by Jorge I have agreed to publish the article in an upcoming issue of View Camera contingent upon the following
receiving the article
having his testing procedure reviewed by people qualified to do so
either pairing his article with one of mine in the same issue or doing a followup in a subsequent issue