The svn list command shows you what files are in a repository directory without actually downloading the files to your local machine:
$ svn list http://svn.collab.net/repos/svn README branches/ clients/ tags/ trunk/
If you want a more detailed listing, pass the
-v) flag to get
output like this:
$ svn list -v http://svn.collab.net/repos/svn 20620 harry 1084 Jul 13 2006 README 23339 harry Feb 04 01:40 branches/ 21282 sally Aug 27 09:41 developer-resources/ 23198 harry Jan 23 17:17 tags/ 23351 sally Feb 05 13:26 trunk/
The columns tell you the revision at which the file or directory was last modified, the user who modified it, the size if it is a file, the date it was last modified, and the item's name.
The svn list with no arguments defaults to the repository URL of the current working directory, not the local working copy directory. After all, if you wanted a listing of your local directory, you could use just plain ls (or any reasonable non-Unixy equivalent).