Recently I was working with a widget (Select2), and found what I felt was a rather large UX issue, the
<select> box (dropdown) was being treated as modal interaction with a transparent mask blocking interaction to the webpage below. The creators defense was this is standard interaction in Mac OS (and also solved several technical problems for him as well).
My question to this community is what patterns or UX research defends Apples decision to make standard select boxes a modal interaction? To be specific, it blocks interaction with the application until a selection is made or the user closes the dropdown by clicking outside the dropdown. To me this flew in the face of the expected users mental model, and seems to diminish usability, though this is simply my opinion and I open it up to you guys to better defend or argue against.
As of right now I know this happens in at least Mac OS 10.9. If you have that version installed you can try this by going to W3Schools select box. which is a vanilla select. Click on the select, and try to interact with anything else, such as browser tabs, switching to a different app in the background (by clicking on it), or even click on the main OS bar at the top. You should notice that your click is ignored and instead only closes the select dropdown.