I am trying to set up a OS X networking environment with a raspberry pi and again have to build netatalk 3.1.6. Why is it now updated on the repository? Will it ever be?
TBH I don't know much about OS X and I don't know much about netatalk (except what I just read from a quick google).
I imagine that it hasn't been updated because from what I've read the Raspbian Devs are trying to be as true to Debian as possible. That means not updating the versions of packages within a release. And looking in the Debian package DB it looks like even the upcoming release (Jessie - currently in testing) only has v2.2.5. To know why that is, you'd have to ask the package maintainers: Debian Netatalk team (you'll probably need to post on the Debian developers list to track one of them down). Perhaps they're overworked and underpaid (common problem in voluntary community based free open source software...)!? Perhaps they need a hand?
And seeing as Jessie is just about to go into freeze (essentially means that no new packages will be allowed in) the chances of a newer version (than 2.2.5) appearing in Debian (and therefore Raspbian) anytime within the next few years are highly unlikely...
Obviously this isn't a definitive "no"! The Debian Netatalk Team may opt to push a newer version into backports (Wheezy and/or Jessie) at some point in the future and/or the Raspian Devs may decide that it's important to have a newer version in their repos so may include it. But my guess is that those possibilities are outside chances and in all likelihood you'll have to keep building from source... I guess another option is that you could set up a third part repo, or you could even just build a deb and share that somewhere...!?