Apologies for possibly offending you there brother. Perhaps I could have written that better.
:-) ... sure, no problem, and because my native language is "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?" I guess I'm often not expressing exactly what I've intended to...
without significantly altering midtones or shadows
This leads to the question: What's "significant"? Unfortunately, to me htp alters/compresses shadows so much that I've only used it in some situations lately, and now that I understand what it actually does in the camera might skip it completely.
HTP affects RAW data as well as in-camera JPEGs
This is exactly the statement I had - and which made me believe that "affect" does mean "alter" and not just "shoot at lower iso and then set a flag in the file apply a tone curve". I'm happy this is now clear to me :-)
ALO can be combined with HTP with cameras that have both features
... but of course alo really only affects jpeg. That's why my original question was about htp since it's very unusual that a body has a setting that affects raw data (because then it isn't "raw" anymore - but as we know raw files don't contain raw sensor data anyway).