I've been waiting for the next patch release of 2.9 to be released some time now but it has not appeared. I really need the fix of issue https://sourceforge.net/tracker/?func=detail&aid=2901388&group_id=2915&atid=102915 to be published in an officially released package to be able to release one of my own projects. Is there any time plan for releasing 2.9.6?
the release of PLplot 5.9.6 will be due around May, since some bugs need to be worked out and some features still added. In the meantime you can choose one of the plplot weekly packages (http://www.miscdebris.net/plplot_weeklies/) - this is what I do for my projects - I choose one which is "stable" for me and has the bugfixes included I need.
In addition it's better to use the mailing list to ask questions, since these forums are mainly read by one developer (me).