> For what it's worth, when writing packages and such I have acquired
> the habit of putting a \relax after all the commands that have
> trailing option lookahead,

In general this is good advice but in this case....

In one of the iterations of these packages after they got announced at
TUG97 and before they got released, I did just that.

But if some brave soul runs with [removeoldnames] then \relax isn't
defined and so the package dies on \relax.

That's why the ones currently distributed have \par where
something is needed.