The velodyne packages are not quite orphaned, but there has not been a release in over 3 years. This means that there is no binary release for Kinetic, and the binary release for Indigo does not support the VLP-16 sensor.
The only way to use a modern ROS distribution or to get the latest sensor support on Indigo is to compile from source.
This has generated several questions on ROS Answers where users try to compile the source:
The developer continues to respond to issues and merge pull requests, but the latest release was 1.2.0 in Indigo on August 6th 2014, over 3 years ago.
So, what can be done? I am bringing this to the attention of the larger ROS community because discussion on the issue tracker has not worked.
TLDR; The velodyne packages are somewhat actively developed, but haven’t been released in over 3 years. What can be done?