@paullammers @Sylvhem masking systemd units is the standard way to make sure a service is not started by any kind of activation (as opposed to disabling, which just makes sure it is not started automatically), so it’s not that ridiculous to propose as a fix. the binaries and libraries are still in place (I presume they are a mandatory dependency of gnome because it uses some stuff from some libraries), but systemd will refuse to start the corresponding user unit
what is more ridiculous is that gnome insist on activating the tracker service even when it is disabled
Automatically installed packages will be removed when the package that 'dragged' them in, gets removed.
By changing a package state from automatically to manually, you can change that.
I don't know if it's possible (IMO gnome is weird), but with aptitude you can request additional solutions. Also use '?' as answer as it gives tips to further target new solutions.
Or remove/purge it all and try this:
aptitude install gnome-core tracker-miner=
(= means in this case, don't install)