I checked out latest 10.04 branch and downloaded 9.6Gig of data. This must give the server some hammering each time someone does a complete new checkout. I looked at reducing what to checkout, "extra" looked like a good canditate at a hefty 5.1G.
I know I could just do src but I had a look at the sparse checkout feature in >1.5 svn.
The following set of commands looked like they should work:
$ svn co http://svn.linuxmce.org/svn/branches/LinuxMCE-1004/ linuxmce --depth immediates
$ svn up --set-depth exclude linuxmce/extra
$ svn up --set-depth infinity linuxmce/*
But the first command looked like it was taking as long as before and no traffic saving!
Turns out if the svn server doesn't know about these new features the filtering is done on the client side, so all the data is transferred and then ignored.
I know there is never a good time to update an svn server but would it be worth considering? Download traffic being the big saving.