The Prospero (Neuman, 1991) directory service is used to resolve the URL yielding an access method for the object (which can then itself be represented as a URL if translated). The host part contains a host name or internet address. The port part is optional.

The path part contains a host specific object name and an optional version number. If present, the version number is separated from the host specific object name by the characters "%00" (percent zero zero), this being an escaped string terminator (null). External Prospero links are represented as URLs of the underlying access method and are not represented as Prospero URLs.