Say you’re at a friend’s house, or in a hotel or cafe, and they have a wi-fi network you haven’t used before, and you try to connect, and it’s password protected so you get asked for the password.
If you already know the password, great, you enter it and join the network and go about your business. Let’s say you don’t know the password, so you ask your friend or a clerk or waiter; they give you the answer a minute later, and you enter it, and your computer fails to join. What happened?
If you wait too long between when the wi-fi network asks for the password and when you provide it, the join request always fails, tells you an error occurred, and doesn’t ask again. I think there’s a challenge in the initial association response that expires so a client isn’t allowed to take that long to associate, but your computer could know it’s been that long, and reassociate before using the credential you provide. Or at least just tell you you’ve taken too long and dismiss the auth dialog. Or at least show a useful error message and bring back the auth dialog when it fails. But no, it just acts like you gave the wrong credentials, and leaves you to figure out the problem. (OK, even if you don’t figure out the underlying problem, the natural thing is to just try again and that will work, but it’s a waste of human effort.)
(As far as I know, Windows, iOS and Mac OS all act like this.)