The weight doesn’t matter if the vertex is only part of that group…
Ok, let me explain differetly. With vertex weight (ignore bone weights for this second) if a vertex were part of two groups, and in each had the weight of 1.0, it would deform the same as if the weight was 0.25 for both bones. The vertex must be part of multiple (bone) groups, and must have a relative variation of deformation weight.
(I hope that made sense, but to be specific to your question bone weight doesn’t matter except on the verticies moved by the bone that are moved by another bone. The same is true of vertex weights)
the bone weigh and bone distance you define in the Edit Buttons window is only valid if you do NOT create vertex weight group in the mesh. That is, it is only valid when using automatic skinning mode, otherwise, it’s the weight defined by the weight vertex group assigned to the vertex that counts.
My only beef with the blender interface is that the buttons exist in such a matter that they’re visible regardless of whether or not you need them. In other words, if I’m not using a certain feature in my mesh, why should a whole assortment of buttons be present to reflect the use of that feature?
slowly i understand it. i always created vertex groubs and now i clicked on dont create BUT huh i find it difficult to controll the influence by they weight and distance settings. in the blender 2.0 guide ton is talking about a bound around an empty or bone which visualizes the influence area of the bone. but i cannot find that one inside blender 2.27