On the client side, the Subversion working copy is where all the action takes place. The bulk of functionality implemented by the client-side libraries exists for the sole purpose of managing working copies—directories full of files and other subdirectories that serve as a sort of local, editable “reflection” of one or more repository locations—and propagating changes to and from the Repository Access layer.
Subversion’s working copy library, libsvn_wc, is directly responsible for managing the data in the working copies. To accomplish this, the library stores administrative information about each working copy directory within a special subdirectory. This subdirectory, named .svn, is present in each working copy directory and contains various other files and directories that record state and provide a private workspace for administrative action. For those familiar with CVS, this .svn subdirectory is similar in purpose to the CVS administrative directories found in CVS working copies. For more information about the .svn administrative area, see Inside the Working Copy Administration Area.