ActionScript and Haxe both use the var keyword to define a new variable. This can store a reference to an object, or it can store a value, such as an integer or string.

Naming Limitations

A class level variable, or property, must have a unique name.

class Test {

    public var hello:String;
    public var hello:Int; // error, cannot reuse name

    public function new () {



In ActionScript 3.0, you cannot use a name more than once in a local variable either, but in Haxe, you are allowed to redefine a local variable.

public function hello ():String {

    var value = "Hello";
    trace (value);

    var value = 100; // not allowed in ActionScript
    trace (value);


Variable names cannot be a reserved keyword, and cannot use special characters (except for "_"). ActionScript 3.0 allows use of the dollar sign ("$") character in variable names, but their use is not allowed in Haxe.

Naming Conventions

ActionScript and Haxe commonly use "camel case" when naming variables. This means that the name starts in lowercase, but uses uppercase at the start of each new word (such as itemCount or applesAndBananas).

Both languages also commonly use an underscore ("_") at the beginning of a private variable name (such as _secretValue).

It is also recommended to try and use variable names that are descriptive. This can be difficult to do, but will always make it easier to understand code without additional comments. FORCE_OF_GRAVITY, for example, will probably be easier to understand than _g in most cases.

It is also common convention to use all capital letters for a constant value, such as SPEED_OF_LIGHT.

Access Control

ActionScript 3.0 supports four built-in levels of access for class properties:

  • public

    The variable will be accessible to other classes

  • private

    The variable will be accessible only within the current class

  • protected

    The variable will be accessible within the current class, or by classes that extend the current class

  • internal

    The variable will be accessible within the current class, and other classes in the same package

Haxe simplifies these controls to two levels of access. public behaves similarly to the ActionScript public level of access, and private behaves similarly to the Actionscript protected level of access.

You can use @:access, @:allow or @:privateAccess meta-data in Haxe to access or allow private access between classes, supporting other use cases.

Haxe also adds support for controlling read and write access to a variable, using the following syntax:

public var hello (read, write):String;

For example,

public var hello (default, null):String;

The following kinds of read and write access are supported:

  • default

    Access will perform as it would normally

  • get

    Read access will use a getter function, named get_hello (or whatever the property name is), when reading the value

  • set

    Write access will use a setter function, named set_hello (or whatever the property name is), when writing the value

  • null

    Read or write access will be allowed inside of the current class, or children of the current class, but will not be allowed externally

  • never

    Read or write access will never be allowed, even inside the current class

Getters and Setters

ActionScript 3.0 allows support for simulating read-only variables, or variables with a custom setter, by using a get or a set function, and an additional private variable.

private var _readOnly:String;

public get function readOnly ():String {

    return _readOnly;


Haxe supports more powerful access control per-variable, so this is not required. However, both languages support get and set functions when more powerful control is required:

ActionScript 3.0

private var _custom:String;

public get function custom ():String {

    return _custom;


public set function custom (value:String):void {

    _custom = value;



public var custom (get, set):String;

private var _custom:String;

private function get_custom ():String {

    return _custom;


private function set_custom (value:String):String {

    return _custom = value;



Constants are properties that have a fixed value, and do not ever change. ActionScript 3.0 defines a const keyword when declaring a constant property, while Haxe uses the inline keyword instead.

public static inline var FORCE_OF_GRAVITY = 9.8;

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