OS/2 eZine - http://www.os2ezine.com
May 16, 2003
Isaac Leung got a degree in Engineering Physics and then Electrical Engineering after which he promptly got a job as a product engineer at a company which makes high speed datacom chips. He is old enough to have cut his computer teeth on Commodore 64's and first played with OS/2 1.3 EE while at a summer job with IBM. The first PC he ever owned came with Windows 95, but he soon slapped on OS/2 Warp 3 and has been Warping ever since. In his spare time, he plots to take over the world.

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Preview: QueenCy

What is this strangely named application? QueenCy is a bitmap paint program, good for image manipulation or creating paintings from scratch. It falls in a similar category to Embellish, Colorworks, SX Paint (whatever happened to that?) or GIMP. But it has a few things going for it the others don't. For starters, all but GIMP are now defunct. GIMP, for now, requires you to install an X-server (although an Everblue port is functional right now which will get around that.) However, QueenCy has one leg up on GIMP because it is able to support pressure sensitivity from Wacom pen tablets. If you've ever used this feature and you need to create "art", this is something you just can't live without.

Thanks to the author of QueenCy (Masami,) he has gifted OS/2 with some pressure sensitive drivers for Wacom Tablets. By the way, although Embellish is defunct, it is still legally and freely available, and it does support pressure sensitive tools, so it may also work with these new drivers.

Since QueenCy has not reached that magic 1.0 gold release yet, so this will just be a quick look at it, not a full out review.

Installation & Requirements

You need to have Warp 4. QueenCy may work on Warp 3, but the author states that he has not tested it, so you're on your own. Hardware wise, it is not demanding on your computer at all. You can, of course, use a pen tablet, but the mouse will function too (although without the pressure sensitive features.) The README also mentions that it supports TWAIN scanners, so you might want to pick up one of those too. I haven't tested with it yet, so I don't know how far along the support is. If you want TWAIN support, I assume you'll need some TWAIN drivers as well, which are not included.

Both QueenCy and the Wacom pressure sensitive tablet drivers are free, (i.e. $0.00,) downloadable from the author's web site.

You can download the file, which is about 1.5MB .ZIP file. Just extract it to a directory of your choosing. If you want, you can run the INSTALL.CMD script which just creates an icon on your desktop and, optionally, associate JPEG and BMP files with QueenCy.

First Impressions

Nothing too weird about QueenCy when you fire it up. It opens all images in its own application window. Strangely enough, it has a floating toolbar for all the tools, but a fixed toolbar on the right for some other functions. I would've thought it would be easier (and more consistent,) just to make all of them floating toolbars.

It generally seems to work okay. Obviously not all the bugs have been ironed out yet, but not too bad. Most of the tools are pretty intuitive to work with. I still haven't quite figured out how the text tool works yet (or maybe it's still a feature in progress,) but the usual paint and shape tools work fine.

QueenCy Sample

Above is a sample of something I whipped up in a few minutes. Some of the more interesting features I discovered was the ability to mask out not only rectangles and freehand portions, but you can mask out regions of similar colour. Masked out regions can then be deformed independently of the base image, thus producing some very neat results.

As always, tools are just tools and it's up to you to make it art. No software I know of automatically generates art for you just yet!


Like many other applications in this area, QueenCy supports plugins. There aren't really any to speak of at the moment, but wait till QueenCy is done.

If you're feeling energetic, the plugin API is completely documented on-line. Go ahead and start creating!


As you can expect with a product this early in the development cycle, there are still problems to be ironed out. Therefore, I won't pick on it too much.

One thing I noticed was very slow loading when dealing with large pictures, e.g. 1280x1024x24bpp. (It hasn't crashed, just very slow.) There may also be a memory leak with very large JPEG's. Probably the codecs for handling BMP and JPEG need some fixing. It's something you should probably be aware of. Don't run anything critical while testing QueenCy. Aside from that, there are unimplemented features and some cosmetic bugs. For example, the right toolbar doesn't always behave nicely during resizing and also can't open up all the toolbars at once, even if there's room. It needs more than enough room, or else it will auto-close some of the toolbar menus. (It's not critical, you just open it up again, selecting the one you need.)

The last thing (but not least important!) that I would like to see is inclusion of a decent manual. There isn't much in the way of a help system right now (fortunately it is intuitive to use,) if English is your language. If you read Japanese, there is a brief on-line manual available at the author's web site.


Although it is only version 0.13 at the moment, it is progressing quite nicely and it is already useable. It's not exactly ready for prime time yet, but if you've ever wanted to provide feedback on a product in development, here's a chance for you. Give it a shot and let the author know what you like or don't like about QueenCy. It may help shape QueenCy into the program you want it to be.

Related Links

Masami's Homepage
Download QueenCy
Download Wacom Intuos Driver
QueenCy Plugin API

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