I did look into it before I set up the repository, and how feasible it would be to do this.
In theory it should be possible, but not how it is currently configured. Let me explain.
The server runs Apache as the webserver, and svnserve as the SVN server. If I were to reconfigure Apache with the appropriate SVN hooks, Apache would be able to serve pages instead of svnserve doing it. Then it would be theoretically possible to configure Apache to serve website pages under a specific virtual host.
The main reason I didn't do that is speed. svnserve is way faster than Apache at serving SVN files, especially if you have a lot of them, and I am also aware that other services run on this server, some of which (thinking predominantly of www.thevoicesofmany.com
here) are heavy computationally and are a lot of work for Apache/PHP to handle.
I may be able to find a way (through looking at ViewVC's code - if I could understand Python!) to write a script to check out a branch, e.g. web
I have to be real careful with doing that, though, since I've managed to set it up so that svn.emeraldeditor.com and www.emeraldeditor.com
share the same style information etc (I have actually symlinked the style.css and the entire includes and images branches from svn's directory tree to the main site's)
In case you're curious, emerald_user's directory structure looks like this internally:
style.css -> ../../public_html/style.css
This way I have some chance of securing the ViewVC script if there's a bug, and can share the styles consistently across both subdomains.
Since it is done this way it should be relatively easy to make the changes suggested in the new style, which I'll talk about there.
For now, though, I'll still be committing any changes manually.