Subversion attempts to erase a lot of the confusion between the cvs status and cvs update commands.
The cvs status command has two
purposes: first, to show the user any local modifications in the working
copy, and second, to show the user which files are out of date.
Unfortunately, because of CVS’s hard-to-read status output, many CVS users
don’t take advantage of this command at all. Instead, they’ve developed a
habit of running cvs update or cvs -n
update to quickly see their changes. If users forget to use the
-n option, this has the side effect of merging repository
changes they may not be ready to deal with.
Subversion removes this muddle by making the output of svn status easy to read for both humans and parsers. Also, svn update prints only information about files that are updated, not local modifications.