If you are constantly running svn up or svn status -u or maybe svn log -rBASE:HEAD then you might find this piece of code useful:
#!/bin/sh dir="$1" cd $dir updated=$(svn st -u | grep '*') if [ "$updated" ]; then notify-send SVN "$updated" fi
What id does is check for updates in subversion and if it finds any then shows a notification using notify-send. Tested on openSUSE 11.1 with subversion 1.6. Add a crontab entry and you are done.